Sauber have signed female IndyCar racer Simona de Silvestro to a role it has dubbed ‘affiliated driver’.
The 25-year-old Swiss driver has been racing in the US since the age of 18, initially competing in Formula BMW and then the Atlantic Championship before graduating to IndyCar, where she has raced for the past four years. Last year, she scored a podium finish with second place in the first race of a double-header in Houston, Texas.
She was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2010, and placed 13th last season racing for KV Racing Technology.
She now joins Sauber for a ‘preparation programme’, which will see her involved in track testing and simulator training, all aimed at obtaining a superlicence and progressing to the 2015 grid.
“This is a major step towards me achieving a life-long dream and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to take this step with such a great team,” De Silvestro said.
“The Sauber F1 Team is a team with a legacy and the only Swiss team in Formula One, which I think makes this even more exciting.”
Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn added: “After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula one in 2015. We regard her as a very talented race driver, and we, therefore, decided to take her on board as an ‘affiliated driver’ and support her on her way to the pinnacle of motorsport.”