Many women have made and are making history in motor racing. Let's get to know who are the most important ones.
The Woman Post | Ariel Cipolla
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For a long time, motor racing was seen as a "man's thing." This responded to an outdated belief that men are the ones who should drive, not only at the competitive level but also on public roads. In other words, the car was always associated with men.
However, over time, society has changed and women began to populate the streets with their cars. This generated, at the same time, an interest in professional motor racing, which led them to be part of great teams. Let's meet the most important female racing drivers.
Aged 39, this American ex-driver is one of the leading women in motorsport. In 2008, she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in April of that year. In addition, she had a total of 8 podiums in her career.
From 2005 to 2011 she competed in that competition and then moved on to the NASCAR Cup Series. It was even thought that the project of the US F1 team could hire her for the 2010 season, although it finally remained in rumors, and then she took her first steps towards the stock cars.
One of the first drivers who had to face prejudice for being a woman. She is the most successful ex-driver in the history of Formula 1. Of Italian origin, she is one of the five women who participated in this competition. In total, she competed in 17 Grand Prix.
She made her debut at the 1974 British Grand Prix. She became the only woman to score points for this category officially, something she achieved after obtaining sixth place and 0.5 points in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. She marked a before and after, as she proved that women could also compete at the highest level of this prestigious competition.
We move on to rallying. Here we have a woman of French origin who is now retired from competition, but who, during 1974 and 1986 achieved great sporting goals. She managed to compete in the World Rally Championship, where she obtained 4 victories and 9 podiums.
Her 4 victories were in the San Remo Rally, Portugal Rally, Acropolis Rally, and Brazil Rally. Since 1988 she has been part of the organization of the Race of Champions, in addition to currently being a director of the WRC, to supervise aspects of the competition, such as race dates, safety, and rules.
Here we have a British ex-race car driver. Between 2001 and 2004 she was part of Formula Renault, where she achieved three podiums. In 2005, she was part of the British Formula 3, but then she got injured. From 2006 to 2012 she was part of the DTM, where she scored points in 2010, for two seventh places.
Since 2012 she became a development driver for Williams Racing. Once she retired in 2015, she decided to create a foundation to promote motorsport among women, since she always considered that they are the future of motorsport and opportunities should be expanded for them to participate in top competitions.
Simona de Silvestro
Finally, we have a current driver of Swiss origin. At the age of 32, she managed to finish more than 60 races in the IndyCar Series. Her best performance occurred in Houston in 2013, where she got second place. In addition, she also raced in Formula E for the Andretti team, between 2015 and 2016.
Previously, she was part of Australia, where she competes full-time for the Supercars Championship, under the Nissan team. As of 2021, she returned to IndyCar in a 100% all-female team known as Paretta Autosport, which is led by Beth Paretta and seeks to promote gender equality in motorsport.
We hope you enjoyed meeting all these professional women in motorsports!