There are a lot of interesting stories in the world of sports, both positive and negative. Among the most interesting is the track of the Italian Maria Theresa de Phillips, who became the first woman to qualify for the Formula 1 race. The beauty of a noble birth became one of the legends of this sport, in which she also experienced difficult moments .
Maria Theresa de Phillips She was the daughter of Italian Count Sirino Francesco de Phillips and Spanish noblewoman Narcisa Anselmi Balaguer Roca de Togores y Ruco y Perpignan. Who would have thought then that Maria Theresa of a noble family would lay the foundations of women’s races.
But her father was also an automobile engineer, so she would inhale gasoline fumes and learn about the world of racing as a child. Especially since they were brothers participating in this kind of sport Antonio And the Giovanni – There were five children in the family – they took part in local events around Naples, where the family came.
Not even a bad accident stopped her and hearing loss in her left ear
And with them is connected the tale that pushed Maria Theresa forward. They stabbed her so she wouldn’t be quick. They’re even betting it’ll be slow. At the end of the forties, after the end of World War II, I developed an increasingly strong passion for motorsports. Before that, she tried her hand at tennis and horse riding, but the adrenaline prevailed, so she ventured into the world of racing.
She began her racing career at the age of 22. In 1948, she accepted the two brothers’ challenge and took part in the first car race behind the wheel of a small Fiat Topolino. She took a win at Salerno-Cava di Tirina in southern Italy, while in the following months she competed in mountain trials, finishing second in the overall standings and saying afterwards, « I was on my own against the guys. »
With each success, it gained new momentum. She wanted higher and faster. Blood ran in her veins, and she was considered a woman of great talent. She then competed in the lower-rated Italian car championships, driving smaller cars such as the giaur and grania in the 750 class. Until 1954, when she was second in the Italian championship. At that time, a serious accident prevented her from setting the record, and she also lost hearing in her left ear.
Written on May 18, 1958
But the negative experience was not firmly rooted in her brain. I persevered and got back on the track a year later, then with the Maserati staff. With the barchetta sport A6GCS/53, she took second place in the driver’s class of the Italian Championship.
She attracted a lot of attention because she was a representative of the fairer sex, and above all she was considered a beautiful woman. It is for this reason that she walked in the pits with a large dog, chasing after annoying and intrusive people.
It was on May 18, 1958, when she got a big chance with Maserati, which made a huge impact in Formula 1. That’s when she started her F1 career at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. I got 16th place in qualifying, while I stopped on day two due to an engine failure and a lack of parts.
With her Maserati 250F, she entered a new dimension of racing. Although she was disappointed during the introduction, she didn’t stop this time either. She took part in the Belgian Grand Prix, where she took 10th place (the best result of her career). In this race, the organizer allowed all drivers to compete without qualifications. She entered the race 19th place, about 34 seconds behind first place finisher Tony Brooks. Although she was two periods behind in the race, she managed to finish 10th, with the remaining nine riders not finishing the test.
In the end, it turned out that she was only in a Formula 1 race.
« The only helmet a woman should wear is a hairdresser. »
Regardless of all that she has achieved, she has received discriminatory reviews in the men’s sports community. At the French Grand Prix in Reims-Gueux on July 6, 1958, the race director dismissed her with the following words, as she claimed in a 2006 interview: « The only helmet a woman should wear is a hairdresser. »
At the Portuguese and Italian Grand Prix, her engine failed and she was forced to retire. The following year, she joined the cast of her friend Behra-Porsche. She qualified for the Monaco Grand Prix but failed to qualify for the race.
What followed was a moment that marked her career. At the Avus circuit in Germany, she witnessed an accident involving her team captain up close. It was rumored that it was Jean sea Even her lover.
The pain was enormous. Before that, she tragically lost her ex-boyfriend Luigi Moss at the French Grand Prix. Due to both of the fatal tragic accidents, she decided to retire from the racing world.
She was succeeded by Lella Lombardi and became the first woman to score a point in Formula 1
Despite the losses, the passion for cars remained. She later became Vice President of the official federation of former Formula 1 drivers, Société des Anciens Pilotes. She was also active in founding the Maserati Club. She even had a working relationship with the company, as they often used her in promotional videos for their latest cars.
« I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the best of my life racing, » she said. She lived until she was 89 years old. She left on January 8, 2016, but has left a huge mark on the world. She would be a racing legend of all time, as she paved the way for the representatives of the fairer sex in a male-dominated sport.
No woman raced in Formula 1 until 1974, then her compatriot Lila Lombardi She competed for two seasons and became the first woman to win a point, or rather a half, for the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.
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