Simona De Silvestro

Never too young to be ambitious

From the moment she stepped into a go-kart at the age of six, barely able to reach the pedals, Simona De Silvestro was destined to be behind the wheel of a race car. “I had the racing bug when I was really young. My dad used to say that I was only quiet when racing was on TV. He did a go-kart demonstration at his dealership when I was four. I saw that and was really excited and wanted to drive, but I couldn’t reach the pedals. I threw a big tantrum and cried, so my dad put me on his knees and drove around. He finally bought me a go-kart when I was six-years-old. That’s how I started. I was playing other sports, but racing is what I always wanted to do. That was my happy place.”

Simona De Silvestro spent her early career refining her racing skills in karting, graduating to Formula racing in 2004.

En Route to success in the USA

The year 2006 saw De Silvestro crossing the Atlantic to the United States to pursue her open wheel dreams competing in the Formula BMW USA series. In 2007, as a rookie in the Atlantic Championship, De Silvestro earned two top ten results and scored championship points in nine of 12 races, finishing the season 19th. The following year she earned her very first win at Long Beach. In 2009 De Silvestro upped her game wining four races in dominant fashion.

Her success was not only impressive but it was also record breaking. De Silvestro, who is often referred to as “the Swiss Miss” because of her Swiss upbringing, was the first woman in the series’ history to have earned the most wins, pole positions, and led the most laps all in a single season. The results of her efforts led to her finishing the season in third place.  However, many supporters may be more excited than the driver herself, as she explained: “When we wear the helmet we all look the same, I want people to be rooting for me because I will be able to win races and be competitive.”

The Swiss Miss joining the big guys

The following year saw De Silvestro debuting in IndyCar and she was off to a flying start leading four laps into her first race in Sao Paulo. Yet her first season was a true baptism of fire, walking away almost unhurt from an accident that saw her sitting in a burning car for 30 seconds.  She won the prestigious Indy 500 "Rookie of the Year" Award, joining many legendary drivers and finished the season 18th. In 2011 De Silvestro clinched a fourth place finish in St. Petersburg and three top-ten finishes, finishing 20th in the overall standings that season. The following year was tough for the talented young gun, due to a technical challenge with the engine that could not be solved, resulting in a 24th place finish for her in the 2012 season. In 2013 she reached her best qualifying result with a third place start in St. Petersburg and scored her first IndyCar podium finish with second place finish at Houston (Race 1). With two top-five and nine top-ten finishes she was 13th overall.

Full throttle for the ultimate goal

2014 will see De Silvestro focussing on her life long goal, to be a Formula One driver. Taking it step by step to achieve this ambition, she will be affiliated driver of the Sauber F1 Team. “I think it’s a major step closer to my dream coming true. It’s the only Swiss team in Formula One and they are known for introducing new talent to Formula One. It’s really exciting for me to be part of the team. The more I learn about the Sauber F1 Team the more impressed I am. I’m really looking forward to working with the team.”

Simona De Silvestro

Date / place of birth 1st September 1988 / Thun (CH)
Nationality Swiss
Website www.simonadesilvestro.com
Height / weight 1.70 m / 68 kg
Marital status Single
Hobbies Golf, music, karting, board games, movie, reading biographies
Favourite food Caprese Salad
Favourite drink Unsweetened Ice Tea
Favourite music Popular, like what’s on the radio
Favourite circuit Laguna Seca in the US and Spa Francorchamps in Europe
Languages English, French, German, Italian and
Swiss-German  

Career

2002 - 2003 Karting 2nd Trofeo Industria Parma
5th Winter Cup Lonato
3rd Primavera Lonato
7th Swiss Karting Championship
2nd Bridgestone-Cup Switzerland
2004 15th place French Formula A
2005 21st place Italian Formula Renault 2000 Championship
2006 4th Formula BMW USA series
2007 19th Atlantic Championship
2008 8th Atlantic Championship
2009 3th Atlantic Championship
2010 18th IndyCar Series
2011 20th IndyCar Series
2012 24th IndyCar Series
2013 13th IndyCar Series

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