De Silvestro makes test debut for Sauber F1

Simona De Silvestro tests a two-year-old Sauber at Fiorano in Italy

Simona De Silvestro tests a two-year-old Sauber at Fiorano in Italy

Simona De Silvestro has undertaken her first test duties behind the wheel of the Sauber F1 car at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in Modena.

De Silvestro logged 112 laps in an old Sauber C31 which did not have the KERS system fitted and which used special tyres from Pirelli.

Making her mark in IndyCar initially as a 21-year-old in 2010, De Silvestro has been given her big break at Sauber.

Of her first taste of a grand prix car she said: “Although it’s something very special to drive a Formula One car, I was not too nervous in the morning.”

“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.”

Sauber test engineer Paul Russell said after initially doing baseline runs, De Silvestro continued to do shorter runs in the afternoon and some set-up changes.

“At the end of the day we used a couple of new sets of tyres, which is always interesting for new drivers in order to experience how far they can push,” Russell said.

“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 for a second day at Fiorano.

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