Maria Teresa de Filippis was the first woman to qualify for a Formula 1 Grand Prix, behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F.
Her story is defined by passion and audacity and for this reason, Maserati celebrates her for Women’s History Month this March and International Women’s Day on March 8.
Maria Teresa de Filippis was born in Naples in 1926 and decided to enter the world of motor racing almost as a challenge.
In 1948 she participated in her first real race: at only 22 years old she won the 10 km Salerno-Cava de 'Tirreni, 500cc class of the touring car category, decisively beating her male colleagues.
That very first victory ignites her passion for racing and in the following year she triumphed in several competitions in the 750cc category.
For 1953 – 1954 she moved on to an Osca 1100 cc in which she won the 12 Hours of Pescara, the Trullo d’Oro, the Catania-Etna, and the circuits of Caserta and Syracuse.
1955 was the year Maria Teresa de Filippis transitioned to a Maserati 2000 A6GCS.
In an article she wrote about her racing years, she said: “… a powerful car with which I felt I could do anything… and I did”, adding, “Poor car!
So many spectacular accidents, but also so many victories!”.
Chief among which was the victory in the Catania-Etna in record time, which remained undefeated for the next three years.
She arrived in second place in the 2000 cc class championship of 1955.