Schmitz became synonymous with the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the 14-mile circuit in Germany that is renowned as the toughest in the world.
Former Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz famous for being the only woman to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours has died aged 51.
Schmitz said last year that she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017.
She won the 24-hour touring car race at the track twice, in 1996, 1997, BMW M3.
Schmitz later gained acclaim for an appearance on Top Gear in 2004 in which she drove a van around the track, and subsequently became a presenter on the show alongside Chris Evans in 2016.
Top Gear presenter Chris Harris said Schmitz was a “wonderful, powerful, hilarious person” while the show’s former presenter Jeremy Clarkson paid tribute by tweeting she was “such a sunny person and so full of beans”.
Formula 1 said Schmitz was “a force of nature” who inspired “a new generation of motorsport enthusiasts”.