The Swiss racing driver SimonaDeSilvestro once was considered as the candidate for the seat in Formula 1, but that never happened and she had to settle for driving in some other major single-seater competitions, such are IndyCar Series or Formula E. Currently she competes in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship.
Simona de Silvestro was born on September 1, 1988, in Thun, Switzerland. The beginning of her racing career was in karting, scoring variable results, mainly at the competitions in Italy. At the end of 2003, Simona left karting racing and entered 2004 French Formula A championship, taking 13th place at the end of the season while in the following year she has competed in Italian Formula Renault 2000 with Cram Competition.
Simona De Silvestro
Going to the United States
In 2006, De Silvestro went to the other side of the Atlantic ocean to compete in the Formula BMW USA where she immediately attracted attention. She won the race at Lime Rock, had six podium finishes and 11 finishes in Top 10 from 14 starts. In the same time, she became the first woman in history to earn a podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as she had two third-place finishes at the US Grand Prix.
The following year wasn’t so successful. Simona De Silvestro switched to Champ Car Atlantic Series and had only two Top 10 finishes from 12 starts.
Setting the records in Atlantic Championship
Luckily, things were much better in 2008. The Swiss racer has competed in Atlantic Championship, driving for Newman Wachs Racing team. She won the race at Long Beach becoming only the second woman to win the race in the championship, after Katherine Legge. She was 8th overall that year and was ready for progress in 2009.
Video - Simona De Silvestro talks about a life of female racing driver
Simona changed the team (Team Stargate Worlds) and set some new records of the series. She scored four wins, nine podiums, and four pole positions to finish third in the Championship standings. She also became the first woman in the history of Atlantic Championship who earned most victories, pole positions and led most laps in a single season.
IndyCar Series debut in 2010
Obviously, she was ready to step on the bigger stage and in 2010, he debuted in the IndyCar Series. As a driver of HVM Racing, De Silvestro twice finished in Top 10 and got Tony Renna Firestone Rising Star Award. Furthermore, she was named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year. From that year, Simona will remember an unpleasant event which occurred at Texas Motor Speedway. After a fiery crash, she suffered a burned right hand.
Simona De Silvestro quickly recovered from the burns
In 2011, Simona, who in a meantime earned nickname 'Iron Maiden', stayed with HVM Racing and slightly improved results but again had a pretty heavy crash, this time during practice for the Indy 500 and again her hands were burned. During her second year in the series, De Silvestro had three Top 10 finishes and for the first time a Top 5 finish, in St.Petersburg. Unfortunately, in the Drivers’ championship, she couldn’t make a bigger impact. In hers rookie year, Simona was 19th while in 2011 she dropped to 20th place.
Third woman in the history of IndyCar to finish on a podium
For the 2013 IndyCar campaign, De Silvestro signed with KV Racing Technology to drive alongside with one of the most experienced drivers in the series, Tony Kanaan. That year she scored her best result so far. She finished second in Houston and was 5th in Baltimore. She became a third woman in the history of IndyCar to clinch podium finish, after Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher. Having another six Top 10 finishes, Simona collected a total of 362 points to finish 13th in the Championship.
Simona De Silvestro had some good results in IndyCar
Switch to Formula E with Andretti
Simona missed 2014 IndyCar season after signing a contract with Sauber F1 team. She became an affiliated driver and passed intensive training programme as the team had a plan to promote her to a full-time driver in 2015.
Unfortunately, due to contractual troubles, Sauber parted ways with De Silvestro but the Swiss driver already had the new door opened.
Simona spent one full-season driving for Amlin Andretti in the Formula E
Andretti Motorsport Formula E team offered her a drive for the last two rounds of 2014/2015 season, She did relatively well in both races in London, narrowly missing points.
She stayed with Andretti team in 2015 but except the duties with their Formula E team, Simona De Silvestro also competed in selected races of IndyCar series. she participated in three races, finishing in the fourth place at Grand Prix of Louisiana. In the 2015/2016 season of Formula E, she scored points twice to finish 18th in the points.
Simona de Silvestro and her Nissan Altima V8 Supercar
Simona's Australian adventure started at Mount Panorama
In 2015, among other duties, Simona travelled to Australia to participate in October's Bathurst 1000 race at Mount Panorama. She was sharing the #200 Ford Falcon with Renee Gracie, running under the Harvey Norman Supergirls banner. They finished 21st.
Ending his Formula E season with Andretti, Simona decided to repeat his Australian adventure in October 2016. This time, Harvey Norman Supergirls were driving the #360 Nissan Altima, finishing in the 14th place. Harvey Norman and Nissan signed Simona as full-time driver in the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, giving her the #78 Nissan Altima.