She joined the Sauber F1 Team as an affiliated driver at the start of 2014, having previously competed in the IndyCar series for the past four years.
The Swiss outfit said the aim was for de Silvestro to complete enough testing this season to gain the mandatory FIA superlicense, in order for her to join the F1 grid in 2015.
Today, de Silvestro drove Sauber’s 2012 car – the C31, repainted in the colours of her personal sponsors – at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in Italy.
“Although it’s something very special to drive a Formula One car, I was not too nervous in the morning,” explained 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,” added the 25-year-old. “I can’t wait to get into the car again tomorrow. The feeling you get driving a Formula One car is just awesome!”
The team confirmed that she enjoyed a trouble-free day, completing 121 laps overall. The plan is for de Silvestro to sample Sauber’s 2014 car later in the year.
She has already spent plenty of time at Sauber’s factory in Hinwil and has spent a lot of time in the team’s simulator. Her debut F1 test will conclude on Sunday.
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team