De Silvestro completes first F1 test day with Sauber

2014 F1 season

Simona de Silvestro, Sauber C31, Fiorano, 2014Simona de Silvestro spent her first of two days at the wheel of a Sauber F1 car at the Fiorano circuit today.

The 25-year-old, who spent the last four years racing in IndyCar completed 112 laps at the Italian track.

De Silvestro covered 336km at the wheel of a two-year-old Sauber C31.

“Although it’s something very special to drive a Formula One car, I was not too nervous in the morning,” said de Silvestro.

“But after completing the installation lap I realised that this was my first lap in a Formula One car, and that this was something really special.

“What impressed me most was the downforce of the car and the braking,” she added. “When I did my first lap the brakes were cold, but even then the decelaration was beyond what I had experienced before.”

“The g-forces are significantly higher compared to what I was used to in IndyCar. Overall, I’m happy with my first day in a Formula One car.”

The Swiss racer, who was announced as an ‘affiliated driver’ for the team earlier this year, said she was pleased with her physical condition after driving the car for the first time.

“I have been training really hard and this paid off,” she said. “I can’t wait to get into the car again tomorrow. The feeling you get driving a Formula One car is just awesome.”

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37 comments on De Silvestro completes first F1 test day with Sauber

  1. Oli Peacock (@olliekart) said on 26th April 2014, 18:31

    All of a sudden, step noses look amazing :O

  2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 26th April 2014, 18:32

    Seems like she already has some sponsors during testing. I bet we see her on the grid next year. Count on it.

  3. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 26th April 2014, 19:05

    Unfortunately Sauber’s test manager Paul Russel used the word “solid” when referring to Simona, which tends to translate into “underwhelming” in motorsport…or it could just be overexposure to Martin Haven today that has ingrained a degree of cynicism in me! Nothing can be expected from a first outing in an F1, and it is nice to see that the finest female prospect that has been anywhere near an F1 car in some time gets some track time.

  4. Jack (@jmc200) said on 26th April 2014, 19:15

    That was such a great car! Weird seeing it in alternative colours, but great seeing her get a go, she’s obviously a decent driver. It would be a shock, but it definitely cool, to see her on the grid.

  5. PeterG said on 26th April 2014, 19:57

    Very similar livery to what she ran in Indycar last year-
    http://ims.cdn.racersites.com/prod/photos/355029/FULL.jpg

  6. money (@carlos-danger) said on 26th April 2014, 21:25

    can she challenge alo/ham/vet not sure

  7. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 26th April 2014, 22:00

    With that livery, the car looks looks it came out from SEGA’s Super Monaco Grand Prix ! Love it !

  8. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 26th April 2014, 22:05

    Do you think there’s maybe a chance of her getting a drive in some of the later races?

    The car’s clearly a dog. It’s generate some publicity and give her some good F1 race experience. Plus, it looks like she’s bringing significant sponsorship.

    Plus, she’s pretty talented to boot.

    • anon said on 26th April 2014, 22:26

      I think that Gutierrez and Sutil are both bringing in more money than de Silvestro can offer and Sirotkin’s backing might be higher too. You also have van der Garde waiting in the wings too – he’s already racked up two practise sessions for Sauber this season, has previous experience at Caterham and sponsorship to boot.

      With that many drivers in the wings, de Silvestro might struggle – if Sauber ditched either one of their current drivers, I think that van der Garde would probably be the more likely driver to replace either one of them.

  9. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 27th April 2014, 0:17

    If she does get a drive next year, she might be shocked how rubbish the current generation of Saubers are compared to the C31…

  10. ken (@whatevz) said on 27th April 2014, 0:39

    Surprised to see them do a unique livery just for a small trial run. When has that ever been done before? Not including old cars just getting updated to current liveries. Is she bringing an imminent major sponsor to Sauber? One that may have Sauber applying to modifying their race liveries too?

  11. PeterG said on 27th April 2014, 1:55

    Just want to add something regarding Simona’s 2011 season in Indycar which shows how good she is.

    Her team got a brand new chassis for the year & she started out with an impressive 4th at St.Pete

    During practice at Indy the suspension failed & put her in the wall big time:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgn-UabTNhg

    The brand new chassis was written off & the team had to use a much older car from 2003 which was significantly overweight compared to the newer cars.

    A week later she suffered another car failure at Texas, The crash damaged an oil line & caused a fire which resulted in her suffering some burns to her hands as she was trapped in the car for a time:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksF02lx25GY

    After these setbacks still in the old, overweight car which she nicknamed ‘PorkChop’ she went on to have an impressive season, Gaining praise from many veterans of the series. She never got the results she deserved but there were several instances where she had that old car way up towards the front & at least once she deserved a podium but got taken out through no fault of her own.

    She did enough to gain interest from better teams but opted to stick with HVM, Sadly the Lotus engine the team had picked for 2012 was horrendously uncompetitive to the point that every other Lotus team jumped to Honda/Chevrolet.
    However she again impressed everyone with some brilliant performances given how bad the engine was & she again did enough to gain interest from top teams so ended up jumping to KV Racing for 2013.

    In 2013 she scored her 1st podium with a 2nd place at Houston which is a very challenging street circuit. She also had many other good results & finished only 2 spots behind her team mate Tony Kannan (Former series champion & 2013 Indy 500 winner) in the drivers championship.

    Everyone who’s ever worked with Simona in the various teams shes raced for both in Indycar & in the lower series have all rated her very highly. As I said she’s been praised by some of the legends of indycar such as Mario Andretti, Foyt, Rick Mears, Roger Penske to name a few.

    Given a proper opportunity in F1 she will shine I’ve no doubt about that.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 27th April 2014, 4:28

      PeterG, do you happen to know why she’s not racing this year?

      • PeterG said on 27th April 2014, 12:18

        I know that the only offers she got in Indycar required her to bring more funding than she has.

        And I suspect that when she got the F1 offer with Sauber she decided to put 100% of her focus on that.

        There has been some suggestion that she’ll look at running the Indy 500 though.

    • Tim (@grez76) said on 27th April 2014, 5:56

      PeterG, thanks for a great post! I hope she is as good as you say she is because I saw a few features on her and I admire her attitude and determination.

      That second video you posted is a shocking example of ineptitude! Thank heavens for the bravery of the other marshals getting her out.

  12. Tim (@grez76) said on 27th April 2014, 5:32

    @PeterG, thanks for a great post! I hope she is as good as you say she is because I saw a few features on her and I admire her attitude and determination.

    That second video you posted is a shocking example of ineptitude! Thank heavens for the bravery of the other marshals getting her out.

  13. ObedSPS (@obedsps) said on 27th April 2014, 6:50

    Is just so good to have women in F1,

  14. that’s the car that got them three podiums isn’t.

  15. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 27th April 2014, 21:48

    The car and the driver look like very nice with these colors.

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