Simona de Silvestro believes she is in with a serious shot of graduating to the Formula 1 grid, possibly as early as next year.

The 25-year-old, dubbed the ‘Swiss Missile’ by those in motorsport circles, has had several outings at Fiorano and Valencia test-driving a Sauber C31 as part of an affiliated driver programme with the Hinwil outfit, which is helping to fast-track a place on the Formula 1 grid.

Should she achieve the feat, she will become the first woman to do so since 1992. De Silvestro spent 2010-2013 racing in the IndyCar Series, achieving her first podium finish at Houston driving for KV Racing Technology last year.

“If I do everything right, there’s a good chance [of a seat],” she said to the F1 Racing magazine.

“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.

Speaking of the potential that she could make history by achieving a full-time drive, she added: “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.

“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.”

Image via Sutton Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.