Sauber affiliate driver Simona de Silvestro believes that she is ready to make the step up to Formula 1 in 2015 after some impressive test running with the Swiss team over the past few months.
The former IndyCar racer turned her back on the American racing scene at the end of last season to try to secure a drive in F1. Sauber took her on as an affiliate driver to help with testing in a 2011-spec car, and she is one of six drivers that is vying for a seat at Hinwil in 2015.
Despite the stiff competition, she does fancy her chances, telling F1 Racing magazine that now is the right time to make the move up.
“If I do everything right, there’s a good chance,” she said when asked about her hopes of a seat in 2015.
“I feel that now is the time, I wouldn’t have made this jump if it didn’t feel right or it wasn’t a good opportunity. That’s why it felt normal to go to Fiorano, I didn’t feel super crazy nervous.”
During her tests, de Silvestro impressed many with her pace and her attitude. However, fellow Sauber tester and rival for a seat Sergey Sirotkin dismissed her as a “marketing ploy”, and although she acknowledged that she will get judged differently because she is a woman, de Silvesto is confident of doing a great job.
“For me, it’s been really important to focus on the racing part, because at the end of the day that’s what people are going to judge you on, whether you’re a boy or a girl,” she said.
“The most important thing is that when we put on our helmets, we are all the same. We are racing drivers and we try to do the best job that we can in a race car. That’s always been my aim.”