She became the oldest Formula 1 pilot ever seen on earth so far and she is 79-year-old. This is the great achievement of Rosemary Smith who drove a Renault Sport F1 Team car, at the Circuit Paul Ricard, in France, in occasion of the Renault 40th anniversary celebrations.
Born in 7th August 1937 in Ireland, Rosemary Smith initially trained as a dress designer and worked as a dress shop owner. But she soon discovered fashion was not her future and she embraced the racing adventure.
Entered her first rally as a navigator, the now old woman, realized driving was her real passion and in 1964 she took the ladies prize on the Circuit of Ireland Rally behind the wheel of a Sunbeam Rapier.
This was just the first of several competitions she participated in, from the 1965 Tulip Rally to Monte Carlo Rally in 1966, from Cork 20 Rally three years later to the Canadian Shell 4000 (just to mention a few).
After 50 years her passion is still “driving fast, very fast” and Renault invited her to participate in their ultimate test drive last 10th May 2017. Thanks to Renault, Rosemary became the oldest person (and woman) to drive an 800bhp race car.
After spending decades working in her own driving school, using a Renault Clio, her dream became true and she had the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 speed car: “one of her best ever experiences,” she declared.
Watch Rosemary’s great performance in the video below.