Simona de Silvestro Gets Sauber Formula 1 Role – Very Nice…

From Autosport

Simona de Silvestro has joined the Sauber Formula 1 team as an ‘affiliated driver’, the Swiss squad announced on Friday.

The 25-year-old has competed in IndyCar for the past four years, finishing 13th in the standings with KV Racing Technology in 2013.

De Silvestro was rookie of the year in 2010 and became the first woman to finish on the podium on a street circuit in IndyCar in Houston last season.

The Swiss driver will join Sauber’s preparation programme with the goal of earning a Superlicence and to “prepare for a race seat for 2015,” according to the team.

Her programme will include track and simulator testing.

“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,” de Silvestro said.

“Sauber is a team with a legacy and the only Swiss team in Formula 1, 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.”

Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn added: “After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula 1 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

MyTake

Well it’s about time…

I have been quietly watching Simona de Silvestro compete here in the states for some time. I recall reading an article shedding light on the fact that when compared to another IRL female driver Danica Patrick, de Simona was the more proficient racer and after watching quite a bit of the racing stateside I came to the same conclusion.

There have been women in F1 before although it was before I was following the sport with such vigor. However, from what I can tell, of those that did come before, none lasted in any meaningful way. De Silvestro on the other hand has, if this report is to be taken at face value what looks to be a real opportunity to succeed where those who came before her have failed.

It would be fitting this opportunity should come from a team such as Sauber. Remember Peter Sauber was the first team owner to put a woman in charge. Monisha Katlenborn is listed as the Team Principal and holds a 33% stake in the Sauber F1 Team. With this in mind when one reads a quote such as to “prepare [de Silvestro] for a race seat for 2015” one must take this as a serious intention and not just the lip service we hear all too often in F1.

If all the pieces fall into place and there were to be a woman driver lining up on the grid come 2015, this would be a great development for the sport. It would be fantastic to see a woman mixing it up with the worlds top F1 drivers at the highest level of motorsport. Forget the burning of bra’s in the 60’s, a woman competing in F1 and possibly standing on the podium would be the true symbol of Woman’s Liberation.

-jp-

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5 Comments on “Simona de Silvestro Gets Sauber Formula 1 Role – Very Nice…

  1. FYI, IRL (Indy Racing League) does not exist any longer. When ChampCar and the IRL merged, the series and sanctioning body became IndyCar. I only bring it up because as a fan of the original CART IndyCar series, the IRL (and Tony George) has always left a bad taste in my mouth as the ones that ruined American open-wheel racing. So I’m glad they ditched the “IRL”/”Indy Racing League” moniker.

    • hey Andy

      thank you for the correction and i am in complete agreement with you in regards to Tony George and how CART was ruined by George and company. Funny thing is i think he was removed form being in charge of the Indy 500 which his family still owns (more or less). seems he has rubbed even his family and the BoD’s the wrong way as well. since you got me going about IndyCar i don’t so much mind the spec chassis but could the organizers make both versions of their cars (oval and gp circuit) any uglier? I understand keeping costs down and therefor there is no real development throughout the season (or is there?) and i would never compare IndyCar to F1 but alala i can’t remember when i was so turned off by the overall shape and body work of a race car.
      -jp-

      • Tony George is right up there on my list of most hated person in motor sports. The other person is Jean-Marie Balestre (that FIA president in the 1980s to early 90s). They swap the top spot depending on my mood. With regards to the appearance of IndyCars and F1 cars these days, I’m still in utter disbelief that people supposedly so intelligent could craft cars or rules that make the race cars so unappealing to look at.

  2. Well done that team for giving her a chance!
    She seems pretty capable so let’s see where things lead from her.

    Thanks for the story Johnpierre, this one had completely passed me by!

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