Simona de Silvestro has had a successful maiden F1 test with the Sauber team, clocking a total of 180 laps over her two-day outing in the two-year-old car at the Fiorano circuit over the weekend.
“Simona drove very well, had a good pace and was consistent,” said Sauber test engineer Paul Russell. “Overall these were two very positive days.”
“Everything feels more familiar to me compared to yesterday, when things were new to me,” de Silvestro added. “We made some changes to the set-up, which gave me the opportunity to get a feeling for those changes and learn how the car reacts to them. I can say that I already feel confident in the car, which is very positive. I’m quite happy with what I was able to achieve over the two days. A big thank you to the team who did a fabulous job explaining everything to me, and giving me the time to reflect on this. I’m already looking forward to my next opportunity to test the C31.”
The team opted not to issue any lap times for her first outing. It’s a largely fruitless exercise to do so, given she was driving an older-spec car with KERS disabled and running on newer-style Pirelli tyres.
The ‘Swiss Missile’ once again drove in her IndyCar-style livery, sporting the ‘Clean Air Energy’ and ‘Hybrid’ decals – even though the car was a normally-aspirated V8 – of the companies owned by long-time backer, the wealthy industrialist Imran Safiulla.
De Silvestro’s next test outing will occur at Valencia on June 25-27. She is slated to have “no less” than 10 test days with the team over the course of the year.
Image via Sauber F1 Team