De Silvestro gets first taste of F1 with Sauber

Saturday 26th April 2014, 16:11 by TF1T Staff 

Sauber Motorsport AG

Swiss female racing driver Simona de Silvestro got her first taste of Formula 1 on Saturday as she took part in a test for Sauber at Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

De Silvestro hopes to become the first female to compete in F1 since Giovanna Amati in 1992 and therefore hopes to cover the required distance to gain her super licence during the test.

She got behind the wheel of a 2012 Sauber rebranded in her personal sponsors logos, such as Clean Air Energy which have supported her during her relatively successful during IndyCar career.

"Although it's something very special to drive a Formula One car, I was not too nervous in the morning," she said after the first day of testing. "I was more focused on what my job would be. But, after completing the installation lap, I realised that this was my first lap in a F1 car, and that this was something really special.

"What impressed me most was the downforce of the car and the braking. 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 F1 car.

"[Today] I concentrated mainly on understanding the tyres and finding out how to get the best out of them. And with every outing I learned more about the behaviour of the car. I can feel now where there is more potential and how I can use it. Physically I feel quite good, which is definitely a result of my preparation in recent months. I have been training really hard and this paid off. I can’t wait to get into the car again tomorrow. The feeling you get driving a F1 car is just awesome!"

The test follows extensive simulator work at Sauber's Hinwil facility in Switzerland. The 25-year-old is expected to get her first taste of a 2014 car later this year.

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