Maria de Villota, racing driver

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

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?


María de Villota Comba

13 January 1979

Madrid, Spain

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.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.