The 25-year-old Swiss will undergo an F1 preparation programme with the team, including on-track testing, simulator work, as well as mental and physical training, with the goal of gaining the FIA Super Licence required for F1 competition.
“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,” said De Silvestro. “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.”
De Silvestro left her home country for the United States when she was just 18 to drive in the 2006 Formula BMW USA series and then the Atlantic Championship from 2007 to 2009. She has spent the past four years driving in the IndyCar Series, winning the prestigious Indy 500 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Award in 2010 and becoming the first woman to earn an IndyCar podium finish on a street circuit.
Commenting on De Silvestro’s signing, Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: “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.”
“I can't thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber enough for their support and belief in my abilities and for giving me this chance,” added De Silvestro. “I’m thrilled to have this extremely unique platform on which to prepare myself to take on the challenge.”