Simona de Silvestro, is the definition of a wonder woman. She has marked her return to Indy 500 With Paretta Autosport, the first ever all woman run and managed team in the history of the sport.
Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Tanishka Vashee
From a young age, de Silvestro was passionate about racing. She started her career through karting and rose to racing in the Formulas. She moved to the US at the age of 18, finishing fourth in the formula BMW of 2006.
Nicknamed the ‘swiss Miss’, she raced for Newman Wachs Racing’s , Nuclear Clean Air Energy-Entergy team in the Atlantic Championship in 2008. She won the Atlantic race at the 2008 Long Beach Grand prix, which provided the team with its first win. Followed by racing for Team Stargate Worlds in 2009.
She won four times during the 2009 season and led in points for most of the season, but ultimately finished third in the standings after retiring on the first lap during the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The following year, Simona participated in an IndyCar Series test. It took place at the Sebring International Raceway- A joint effort between HVM Racing and Team Stargate Worlds.
The year after she started racing in IndyCar full time for HVM racing. She qualified in 22nd place for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and went on to convert it a 14th place finish. She was even named Rookie of the year!
Unfortunately, the Swiss suffered an accident at the Firestone 550, which resulted in a burn on her right hand. Simona finished 19th in the general classification and missed being rookie of the year to Alex Lloyd.
Her 2011 season began with a lot of criticism about her performance. She couldn’t participate in the 13th round in Sonoma as a result of not being allowed into the country. A Customs agent of the US was concerned about her frequent trips.
When she tried explaining herself, the official refused to believe that she was a professional competitor as a result of which she was barred from entering the country.
The Indy career started in the Atlantic Championship in 2010, being named for Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500. In 2013, she finished second to earn a spot on the podium in Houston. She then had a brief foray into Formula 1 as an affiliated driver with the Sauber F1 Team in 2014. The Swiss driver has spent the three years forward competing in the Australian Supercars Championship.
Formula One and Formula E
Simona also has experience in the world’s first fully electric street racing series. She had the chance to drive two races in the premier seasons of Formula E. Her performance claimed he to be a regular driver by Andretti for the 2015/16 season. She was a Test driver at Venturi racing during her last season in the series.
In 2016, de Silvestro became the first woman to score points in Formula E, finishing in 9th place at Long Beach ePrix 2016.Unfortunately, the agreement did not progress, it did not have a female driver in the prestigious category.
Speaking about her Formula one career, She joined Sauber in 2015 through their Pilot Preparation program. As a result of joining the program she got to take tests on the track, work on the simulator, as well as physical and mental training. All aimed at obtaining the Super License, mandatory for those who want to compete in the maximum category of motorsport.
“This is a big step forward to achieve my childhood dream and I am very happy to have this opportunity with a great team. Sauber is a team with history and the only Swiss F1 team which, in my opinion, make things even more exciting.” Simona celebrated.
Now in 2021, good news reigns for the Iron Maiden. Simone is on the way to Indy 500 tracks, representing Paretta Autosport.
“Today is the beginning of a commitment to equity. To encourage women to work hard so that they can earn their place at the table or on the grid.” Said team leader Beth Paretta.
Beth Paretta said that IndyCar has been a welcoming place for women for many years. The hardwork of many men and women have helped the, have a stronger commitment to IndyCar’s ‘Race for equality and change.’ She hopes that this ensures opportunities in the future.
“Our team, together with our technical alliance with Penske, will work hard to give Simona the best car we can offer so that she can achieve her best results. Competition drives us. The Indy 500 is the biggest race in the world and we hope to have a woman’s face soon in the Borg-Warner Trophy. ” She concluded.
Read more about the team here
We can’t wait to hear more about this Wonder woman and the great achievements she’ll have this season!