The 25-year-old Swiss left for the US when she was just 18 to drive in the Formula BMW USA series in 2006 and the Atlantic Championship from 2007 to 2009. Over the past four years De Silvestro has been driving in the IndyCar Series. She won the prestigious Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” Award in 2010 and became the first woman to earn a podium finish on a street circuit in IndyCar, a press release from Sauber F1 team said.
This year she is taking the next step in her career by joining a preparation programme with the Sauber F1 Team, with the goal to gain her super licence and prepare for a race seat in Formula One for 2015. The programme will include on track testing, simulator training, as well as mental and physical preparation.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula one in 2015. We regard her as a very talented race driver, and we, therefore, decided to take her on board as an “affiliated driver” and support her on her way to the pinnacle of motorsport.”
Simona De Silvestro:
“This is a major step towards me achieving a life-long dream and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to take this step with such a great team. The Sauber F1 Team is a team with a legacy and the only Swiss team in Formula One, which I think makes this even more exciting. I can’t thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber enough for their support and belief in my abilities and for giving me this chance. I’m thrilled to have this extremely unique platform on which to prepare myself to take on the challenge.”