Si­mona de Sil­ve­stro

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Find­ing the stars of to­mor­row, to­day

Si­mona de Sil­ve­stro is 25. She was born in Thun, Switzer­land and is the Sauber F1 team’s ‘af­fil­i­ated driver’ this year

Who is she?

How good is she?

Will we see her in F1?

Hav­ing started out in sin­gle-seaters in For­mula Re­nault aged 16, Si­mona has been rac­ing in the USA since 2006. She fin­ished third in the At­lantic Cham­pi­onship in 2009, tak­ing four wins, then moved up to IndyCar. She was named Rookie Of The Year at the 2010 Indy 500, where she fin­ished 14th.

What’s an ‘af­fil­i­ated driver’?

Sauber’s in­ten­tion is to put Si­mona through a track test­ing and sim­u­la­tor pro­gramme in 2014 with a view to her get­ting a su­per­li­cence to race in F1 with the team next year. Much bet­ter than her re­sults sug­gests. She im­pressed in a GP2 test in 2007 but de­cided to stay in the US. In 2010 she suf­fered burns in an ac­ci­dent at Texas Mo­tor Speed­way – one of the fastest tracks in Indycar – then in 2011 a car fail­ure in prac­tice for the Indy 500 put her into the wall . She suf­fered sec­ond-de­gree burns, but still qual­i­fied the spare car 24th. Last year she claimed a podium fin­ish and showed she could mix it with the fron­trun­ners.

Has she driven an F1 car yet?

Yes, in a 2012 Sauber C31 at Fio­rano. “It was as good a start in an F1 car as you could hope for,” said en­gi­neer Paul Rus­sell. She’ll be be­hind the wheel again at Va­len­cia in June. Pos­si­bly, but by not com­pet­ing in For­mula Re­nault 3.5 or GP2, she’s missed out on vi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence in skills such as tyre man­age­ment. That said, she is brave and de­ter­mined. Spon­sor­ship may ul­ti­mately be the de­cid­ing fac­tor.

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