Legge leads women's return to F1

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The Independent Online

The Northamptonshire-born driver has enjoyed a successful season the United States' Toyota Atlantic series, winning three races and catching the eye of leading figures.

Her success has been rewarded with a Champ Car test and a chance to show what she can do in a Minardi Formula One car. She will get behind the wheel of a Minardi next month, after Paul Stoddart hands over the team to Red Bull, who will change its name to Squadra Toro Rosso.

"I'm really looking forward to driving both the Formula One car and the Champ Car and I'm extremely grateful to both Paul Stoddart and Kevin Kalkhoven for giving me these great opportunities," said Legge.

"These are the two most powerful and challenging cars to drive in the world. Growing up in England, it was always a goal of mine to drive a Formula One car. At the moment I'm just climbing the walls to get back into a car," said Legge. "Until I prove myself some more I know that both Champ Car and Formula One are out of my reach."

The last woman to compete in Formula One was Giovanna Amati in 1992, but she failed to qualify for three races before being replaced by future world champion Damon Hill.

Indy Racing League driver Sarah Fisher turned several demonstration laps behind the wheel of a McLaren at Indianapolis in 2002 but that run was merely a promotional exercise for a joint sponsor and did not constitute a test.

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