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De Silvestro makes F1® test debut for Sauber 26 Apr 2014

Simona De Silvestro makes her F1 test debut with Sauber, Fiorano, Italy, April 26, 2014 Simona De Silvestro makes her F1 test debut with Sauber, Fiorano, Italy, April 26, 2014 Simona De Silvestro makes her F1 test debut with Sauber, Fiorano, Italy, April 26, 2014

Former IndyCar racer Simona De Silvestro enjoyed her first day of Formula One testing with Sauber on Saturday, as she completed 112 laps of Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit in Italy. De Silvestro, who joined the Swiss team as an affiliated driver in February, was at the wheel of a two-year-old Sauber C31, without KERS and using special Pirelli tyres.

The 25-year-old Swiss driver, who is undergoing an F1 preparation programme at Sauber with a 2015 race seat in mind, used the opportunity to become familiar with the specifics of a Formula One car and according to the team was able to improve constantly during the day.

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

Sauber test engineer Paul Russell was clearly impressed with De Silvestro’s first outing, commenting: “Simona did a very solid job today. It was immediately clear that she is an experienced driver. It was as good a start in a Formula One car as you could hope for, and you couldn’t really ask for more today.”

De Silvestro will continue testing with Sauber at Fiorano on Sunday.

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