The 25-year-old has raced in the IndyCar series for the last four years, scoring a best finish of second place at the Grand Prix of Houston last year. She won the prestigious Indy 500 “Rookie of the Year” award in 2010 and has joined Sauber’s driver development programme ahead of the 2014 F1 season.
The goal is for de Silvestro to gain her superlicense and prepare for a race seat in 2015. The programme will include track testing, simulator training as well as physical and mental preparation.
“After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula One in 2015,” said Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. “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.”
Talking about the appointment, de Silvestro said: “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.
“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. 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.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team