Motorsport can be one of the most exciting ways for anyone who loves cars to see them in action, particularly when it comes to the world of Formula One. The risks that are involved are a huge part of the sport, which is why it can’t be done by just anyone. It takes a huge amount of dedication, nerve and skill to get into a track-ready car and of course, it takes even more of this to be among the best of the class.

Although motorsport and the automotive industry have been thought of a male-dominated arena in the past, the truth is that it’s now becoming much more equal among the genders.

This is largely thanks to the high quality of female race car drivers that have become more and more prominent over the years.

Some of the best drivers ever have been women and we can see this set to continue, as long as ladies continue to compete at this level.

With this in mind, we’ve picked out our top three female race car drivers that we think are ahead of the mark. If you have any favourites of your own, let us know who they are and join us as we tip our hat to the ladies who help to make motorsport great.

 

Susie Wolff

She’s one of the most well known names in motorsport, and it has to be said that it’s for good reason too.

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Kind of a big deal, Wolff was the first women to take part in a Formula One race weekend in over 20 years at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the Williams F1 team. She did this in 2014 and officially retired from Formula One in November 2015 saying that she felt she had personally taken the sport as far as she could but that she would continue to encourage other women in motor racing.

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Her last racing hurrah was at the 2015 Race of Champions, where she competed for Scotland with former F1 driver David Coulthard.

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Desire Wilson

An institution is what this lady is, if not an inspiration to all women who are looking to forge a successful career in the F1 world. Desire Wilson is one of only five women who have competed in Formula One, a huge accolade for any woman in the motorsport and automotive industries.

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Originally from South Africa, she snatched the title of being the only woman to win an F1 race of any kind when she won at the Brands Hatch in the short-lived British Aurora F1 series in 1980. As a result, she has a grandstand at Brands Hatch named after her and is recognised as the most accomplished female racing driver in the world.

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Outside of F1, she is the only woman who has been licensed to drive in a CART Indycars event and she holds a FIA Super License – enabling her to race at the highest level possible. A couple of other accolades include wins at the Monza 1,000km and the Silverstone Six Hours Work Championship for Makes… we could go on.

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Maria Teresa de Filippis

Without this woman, others might not be competing at the level that they are today, as Maria Teresa de Filippis is largely credited as being the pioneer of women’s involvement in Formula One. An Italian racing driver born in 1926, de Filippis was the first women ever to race in F1 and she participated in five World Championship Grand Prixs.

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Despite not clocking up any championship points in F1, she is celebrated for winning races in other series and is considered something of a hero in the sport of motor racing. Her first professional race was when she drove in the Italian sports car championship, in which she finished second in the 1954 season. It was after this that she was brought in to the Maserati team as the works driver.

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Although most of her racing included hillclimbing and endurance events, she finished second in a sportscar race in the 1956 Naples Grand Prix, driving a Maserati 200S. De Filippis’ late career saw her join the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix Drivers in 1979 and she was a founding member of the Maserati Club in 2004 until she passed away in January of this year, and what a legacy she leaves behind her.

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