de Silvestro feeling positive after first F1 test

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After completing her first Formula 1 test yesterday, Simona de Silvestro has spoken of her happiness with her performance ahead of the second day of running at Fiorano.

The former IndyCar driver joined Sauber at the beginning of the season with the target of completing enough testing during 2014 so that she could line up on the grid for the Swiss team next year. As part of this, she was given a test at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track yesterday, and enjoyed every second of it.

“Although it’s something very special to drive a Formula 1 car, I was not too nervous in the morning,” de Silvestro explained. “I was more focused on what my job would be.

“But, after completing the installation lap, I realised that this was my first lap in a Formula 1 car, and that this was something really special.

“What impressed me most was the downforce of the car and the braking. When I did my first lap the brakes were cold, but even then the deceleration was beyond what I had experienced before. The G-forces are significantly higher compared to what I was used to in IndyCar.”

de Silvestro is now hoping to build on this good start today as her test running continues in the Sauber 2012 car, the C31.

“Overall, I’m happy with my first day in a Formula 1 car,” she said. “Physically I feel quite good, which is definitely a result of my preparation in recent months. I have been training really hard and this paid off. I can’t wait to get into the car again tomorrow. The feeling you get driving a Formula 1 car is just awesome!”

Sauber test engineer Paul Russell was also delighted with her performance.

“Simona did a very solid job today,” he said. “It was immediately clear that she is an experienced driver. It was as good a start in a Formula 1 car as you could hope for, and you couldn’t really ask for more today.”

Formula 1: Ricciardo on Monaco pole, Verstappen to start last

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Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.

And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.

Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.

Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.

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