The Swiss driver, who has left IndyCar after four seasons to pursue a seat in F1, is one of three drivers already in the running for a seat with Sauber next season. Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin completed some running for the team in Bahrain today at the first in-season test of 2014, whilst Giedo van der Garde completed some running during the first free practice in Sakhir last weekend.
de Silvestro was fitted for the team’s C31 car that took part in the 2012 championship and claimed four podium finishes. She is expected to test the car at Fiarano in the coming weeks to get to grips with the car and try to gain her FIA superlicense. Given that the car is more than two years old, it would be permitted for testing outside of the FIA’s jurisdiction.
Speaking to Richland F1 earlier this year, Simona explained how she is readying herself for the challenge of F1 after so many years in the United States. “I think the biggest challenge for me coming from the U.S. is that I’m really familiar with the tracks there, but I haven’t had a chance to race in Europe for a couple of years,” she said. “I think learning the tracks and also how the car is, since the car is going to be quite different from what I’m used to driving.
“I think the downforce levels are much higher in Formula One, so getting to know how everything works will probably be the biggest thing I have to adapt to. If you look at an F1 outfit there’s about 300 people working there, so I will need to get into the F1 mode from that respect as well. I don’t think it will be that much different, but there are a lot of little pieces that you have to get accustomed to and feel comfortable with.”
In her years in IndyCar, Simona became a popular member of the paddock, and her presence as part of the Formula 1 fraternity next season would certainly be welcomed.
Images courtesy of IndyCar/John Cote and Sauber F1 Team.