Video: Rosemary Smith is 79 and she just tested a Renault F1 car!


At 79-years-young, former rally driver Rosemary Smith became the oldest person to drive a modern Formula 1 car, courtesy of Renault.

Robert Kubica wasn't the only driver to pound around Paul Ricard in a Renault yesterday, with Dublin-born Smith achieving her ultimate dream.

Smith enjoyed a successful career in rallying, winning the 1965 Tulip Rally in Holland, a victory which put the former dress shop owner turned racing driver on the map.

She continued her winning ways until calling it a day and setting up her own driving school, using Renault Clios, where she mainly promoted responsible driving to the younger generation.

Renault thought her story was so compelling that the French manufacturer decided to give Rosemary a special track day as part of its 40-year Celebrations, with Jolyon Palmer on hand to dispense with a bit of coaching before unleashing her talent behind the wheel of an F1 machine.

"Driving an 800bhp car is something I, like many other racers, have always dreamt of but I didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to do it, so when the team at Renault UK contacted me I jumped at the chance.

"It was definitely very different to the rally cars I’m used to, but was an amazing experience. I could feel myself getting more and more comfortable with the single-seater and being able to speak to Jolyon, driver to driver, helped when the nerves did kick in.

"It just goes to show that anyone can fulfill their dreams at any age if they put their mind to it, and always follow their passions."

Check out Rosemary Smith's remarkable day at the race track in the video below.

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