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The last woman in the formula 1 : From the delivery truck to the race car

In Frugarolo, there is not the beginning of the sixties, still a lot of cars. While about 100 kilometers, the new Fiat models 600 and Nuova 500 in Turin, the city is slowly to take, is for the majority of people in the Piedmont 2500-inhabitants village, a car is still unaffordable. The streets earn the bulk of our name, and usually belong to the farmers with their donkeys or young men on motor scooters. A car know in Friarò how Frugarolo in the local dialect means, but all: the car of the local butcher. Every day, he rattles through the narrow streets, curves, hills up and down, up to the Ligurian Riviera. At the helm, Maria Grazia Lombardi, the butcher's daughter is.

The 18-Year-old is called of all only Lella and delivers Salami, ham and sausages at a record pace. No 15 years later, at 27. April 1975, she ranks still have a steering Wheel in the Hand and the foot on the accelerator – at the Grand Prix of Spain in Barcelona as the first and so far the only woman in formula 1 in the points. "It is unbelievable that my aunt has managed to come from a small village far away from any race track with its determination in the formula-1", Lombardi's nephew, Luciano told once.

A Fiat 500 on the installment plan, 42 Lire every month

was Already as a little girl, Lella impressed by the speed. At the age of nine, she sits for the first Time at the wheel, with 13 you can drive better than most adults. In Frugarolo you see them occasionally on the parental Lambretta, the competitive product on the Vespa, driving around. "You realize at the time that she was crazy about motors," said Luciano. "She has to constantly read a few car magazines at the time, and with the open eyes of a career as a race car driver dreamed of."

Even if it's not in the family is financially poor, is the way in Motorsport for Lombardi. Unlike the first woman in formula 1, the Neapolitan Baroness Maria Teresa de Filippis, it is neither encouraged nor financially supported. Their first race rides Lombardi secretly. In 1965, she buys at the age of 24 years, a used race car. By working as a supplier for his father's butcher's shop has a little bit of money saved up, that's enough, but for a long time. So you pay the tricked-out Fiat 500 on Rates, 42 Lire every month. In the first race of the local blacksmith serves as a mechanic.

your parents know it from the newspaper

Despite the not professional conditions of Lombardi celebrates success, her Talent is not to be overlooked. As you win your first race, know the parents of them from the newspaper. Your father is not first of all enthusiastic and support you later in public. If it is not present, will be Proud of but clearly. Also in the village, the majority of reactions are positive – although to be strictly Catholic Italy of the time, a suitable place for a woman on the kitchen, and it's no secret that Lombardi is a lesbian. Your character makes it to the people but hard to like you. Lombardi is not staged, she is polite and humble, but also determined and self-confident. Despite their small stature doesn't intimidate the male-dominated world of Motorsport.

Lombardi knows how good she is, and wants to compete with the other drivers. These are almost exclusively men, makes no difference to them. "The male competitors are dealt with on the track pretty hard with her, with dirty Tricks. You could but it helps to watch, was tough and had a lot of stamina,“ said Angela Webb, Bernie Ecclestone, in 1974, bought for 5000 pounds a Brabham BT42 and Lombardi to be your first formula 1 use. At the time, significantly more riders are taking part in the Qualifying session than it is today, and not for all there is a start. Lombardi is in the qualifying of the 29th, it is not enough. Your Talent sponsors lures. A coffee company pays 50,000 pounds and Lombard to Fund a formula 1 Cockpit for the next season. Your best race on the Nürburgring, where you missed the points in Seventh.

A halfway point in Barcelona

at this point, you are already half a championship point in the account, beautiful memories are associated with her best race result. Because of the Great price of Spain in Barcelona is not only because of its historic placement in memory, but, above all, due to a serious accident. After a few rounds of Rolf flies Stommelen with his car on the track. The German is seriously injured five spectators die. As the race is canceled, is Lombardi on rank six. Since less than 75 percent of the distance are completed, will cut in half the number of points.

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Karin Sturm

your career in formula 1 will take a year. 15. August 1976 Lombardi in Spielberg, Austria, 12. It is the last race of a woman in the formula 1. Lombardi drives, however, in the case of Touring-race, in Le Mans, and even in the DTM. A life without the Motorsport is for you not to imagine. In 1988 she ended her career, finally, and is founded a Team of their own. As you already know from your cancer, you die in 1992 at the age of only 50 years.

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