Ten of the most Successful Female Race Car Drivers

On female drivers, Stirling Moss once said, “I think they have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel.” He didn’t read his racing history, and embarrassingly, his own sister makes our top ten list of the greatest female race car drivers.

Someone doing a great deal promoting female talent in Motorsport is Susie Wolff, who leads the Dare To Be Different campaign that not only aims to nurture race drivers, but females who want to be involved in other aspects of the sport such as engineering. On her campaign, Wolff said,

“There are two aspects to Dare to be Different. The first is the headline events – we go around the country and get 100 schoolgirls to a racetrack or a venue where they can try karting, build a hovercraft so they can see the engineering side, and do a ‘piece to camera’ so they can understand journalism.

The second element is the community, where we try to get as many of the successful women already in the sport – from marshalling, engineering, racing and marketing – to connect with us so they can become role models for the next generation.

There are some girls as young as eight all the way up to 16 in karting, and some 16 and over racing in other championships. I can follow what they’re doing and the whole community can follow what they’re doing.

There are some girls who have managed to get very high up – Swiss Simona de Silvestro has just signed a three-year deal to race in V8 Supercars, while Colombia’s Tatiana Calderon is racing in GP3. There are a select few women racers out there. Sadly, just not enough.”

– Susie Wolff

Formula One always seems to be the pinnacle benchmark on this subject, despite female success in racing generally being quite an east thing to discover. We can’t say that, for example, there will never be a Ugandan or a Belarusian Formula One driver because there hasn’t been one yet, it seems ridiculous to grasp onto this mentality regarding female racers in F1 too. Wolff herself got into the role of test driving for Williams and had some decent free practice sessions, but we still wait for the first full-time female Formula One driver.