Maria de Villota, racing driver

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She became the first female racing driver ever to compete in the Superleague Championship in 2009. Find out what motivates Maria to succeed.

Raise Your Game: As a female racer in a male dominated sport, how did you get to be involved in motor racing?

Profile

Name:
María de Villota Comba

Born:
13 January 1979

From:
Madrid, Spain

Sport:
Motor racing

Racing CV and achievements:

  • Atletico Madrid, Superleague Formula, Madrid (2009)
  • Formula Palmer Audi series (2009)
  • Euroseries 3000 (2008)
  • 3rd - ADAC Procar series (2007)
  • Spanish GT Championships (2007).
  • World Touring Car Championship (2006-2007)
  • Spanish F3, Ferrari European Challenge (2005-2006)
  • Spanish F3 (2002-2005)
  • Spanish Formula Toyota 1300 (2001)

Maria de Villota: My father, Emilio de Villota, was a Formula One racing driver in the late 1970s and he won the Aurora Championships in 1980. Ever since then I have been looking forward to becoming a racing driver and I started my racing career in 1994.

RYG: As a female role model, what would you say to young women that are looking at you and say 'I could never do that'?

MV: It's just a matter of believing in it. I have a brother Emilio and also a sister and they both race cars. I think that in my house I never felt different. If Emilio could do it, then why not me? You don't think of whether you are a male or a female, you just think that you can make it.

RYG: You speak brilliant English. How important is it to have an understanding of different languages?

MV: For a racing driver it is crucial. My team are English, so I usually speak English with my team managers and you get used to it.

RYG: If you could give any advice to young people looking to follow in your footsteps, what would it be?

MV: It sounds like a slogan, but I would say just believe in it. If you think you can make it, you really can. So just focus and work a lot because you really need to fight and you need the passion to keep going. It can happen.


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