(born July 20, 1962 in Rome
) is a former professional race car
driver from Italy
. She is best known as the last female driver to have entered the Formula One World Championship.
Born to wealthy parents, Amati had a colourful childhood, including being kidnapped for ransom, and buying a Honda
motorcycle when she was 15, managing to hide it from her parents for two years. She began racing professionally in 1981, winning several times over the next four years in Formula Abarth
before moving up to Italian Formula Three
in 1985-86, again scoring a few wins. By 1987 she had moved up to Formula 3000
, but by 1992 had recorded a best result of only 7th place in six seasons in both Europe and Japan.
Amati landed the second seat at the dying Brabham Formula One
team for the 1992 Grand Prix season. Although she was an aggressive racer, with her previously mediocre results in a 1991 GJ Motorsports Reynard 91D Cosworth Formula 3000
car in which she posted 7 starts with 3 DNQs for GJ team owners and brothers Graham and Jim Warren, then Brabham
using a barely changed version of their 1991 car and Amati's only previous Formula One
experience being a test in a Benetton
(courtesy of her then-partner Flavio Briatore
), it was perhaps unsurprising that in three starts she failed to qualify. Following the Brazilian Grand Prix
, she was dropped in favour of Damon Hill
as her financial backing had not materialised.
Since then, Amati went on to carve out a respectable career... Read More