Modena, 4 March 2021 Maria Teresa de Filippis was the first woman to qualify for a Formula 1 Grand Prix, behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F. Hers is a story of passion and audacity and for this reason, Maserati celebrates her achievements on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 8 March.
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 race; at only 22 years of age 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.
During 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.
Maria Teresa de Filippis transitioned to a Maserati 2000 A6GCS in 1955. In an article she later 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 following three years. She finished in second place in the 2000 cc class championship of 1955.
In 1958, behind the wheel of a private Maserati 250F, Maria Teresa de Filippis made her debut in the GP of Syracuse and then competed in her first Formula World Championship Grand Prix in Belgium. A number of female racing drivers have competed in motor sport over the years, but only Maria Teresa de Filippis holds the unique record, one that can never be broken or equaled, of being the first woman to compete in Formula 1.
Able to stand out in an environment that had previously been considered exclusively male, Maria Teresa de Filippis earned the respect and esteem of her rivals in the field and brought to the track the values that still guide Maserati today: excellence, elegance and power.
Maserati and Maria Teresa de Filippis represent a winning combination. A story of tenacity, courage and audacity. The desire and resolve to face technical, physical and personal challenges and to transform them into opportunities to be seized, looking to the future with determination.
Five years after her death, the strength and importance of her accomplishments continue to define the values of Maserati and also inspire all the women who work for the Brand today. A video, due to be released on social media on 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day, unites and celebrates them.
Maserati produces a complete range of unique cars with an amazing personality, immediately recognisable anywhere. With their style, technology and innately exclusive character, they delight the most discerning, demanding tastes and have always been a global automotive industry benchmark. A tradition of successful cars, each of them redefining what makes an Italian sports car in terms of design, performance, comfort, elegance and safety, currently available on more than seventy markets internationally. Ambassadors of this heritage are the Quattroporte flagship, the Ghibli sports sedan, now also available in hybrid version, the Trident Brand’s first electrified car, and the Levante, the first made by Maserati SUV, all models denoted by use of the choicest materials and technical solutions of superlative excellence. A complete range, including V6 and V8 petrol, 4 cylinder hybrid and V6 diesel powerplants, with rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. The range’s prestige was recently even further enhanced by the introduction of the new Trofeo Collection, comprising Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante, equipped with the powerful 580 hp V8 engine. The top-of-the-range is the new MC20 supercar, powered by the ground-breaking Nettuno V6 engine, incorporating F1-derived technologies now made available in the power unit of a standard production car for the first time. Today, the Maserati range is produced at three plants: Ghibli and Quattroporte are built at Grugliasco (Turin) at the Avvocato Giovanni Agnelli Plant (AGAP), and Levante at the Mirafiori Plant in Turin. The new MC20 supercar is produced in Modena, at the historic Viale Ciro Menotti plant.
For further information:
Anna Angelini – Press & PR Manager Maserati GB – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Leimanis – Press Officer Maserati GB – email@example.com