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Silvestero makes debut in F1 Sauber

2014-04-27 11:52

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO: She's young, she's beautiful and now she's been testing a Sauber F1 car at Ferrari's Fiorano test track. Image: Sauber

FIORANO, Italy - Simona de Silvestro became the latest woman to take the wheel of a Formula 1 car on Saturday when she made her test debut for Sauber.

The 25-year-old Swiss driver, who has raced in Indy Cars in the US since 2010, completed 112 laps in a two-year-old Sauber at Ferrari's test track at Fiorano in Italy.

She said later: "After completing the installation lap I realised that this was my first lap in an F1 car and that this was something really special. The g-forces were significantly higher than to what I was used to in IndyCar.

FEW WOMEN MAKE GRADE

"Overall I'm happy with my first day in an F1 car. Physically I feel quite good, definitely a result of my preparation in recent months. I have been training really hard and tha paid off."

Few women have made the grade in F1. Giovanna Amati failed to qualify at Interlagos in Brazil in a Brabham in 1992; 1976, Lella Lombardi was the last woman to feature in a race.

Earlier in 2014 British team Williams said Susie Wolff would take part in the first practice sessions of the British and German GP's July.

Sauber test engineer Paul Russell was impressed by Silvestro's efforts. "Simona did a very solid job. It was immediately clear that she is an experienced driver. It was as good a start in an F1 car as you could hope for."

The role of women in F1 was placed under a harsh spotlight in 2012 when Marussia test driver Maria de Villota lost her right eye and suffered a fractured skull in a crash while testing in England.

Editor: It wasn't really a crash, it was a mistake in the pits when she drove her car under a truck in the pits.
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