Formula One racing came to the Lee College of Engineering last night, as Sauber F1 driver Simona de Silvestro and her car visited the Motorsports Research Building on the UNC Charlotte campus.
An IndyCar driver since 2010, De Silvestro joined Sauber as an affiliated driver in 2014. The 25-year-old Swiss racer is now undergoing a F1 preparation program with the team, including on-track testing, simulator work, as well as mental and physical training, with the goal of gaining the FIA Super License required for F1 competition and racing in 2015.
“Formula One has always been my dream and my goal,” De Silvestro told the crowd. “It’s really exciting for me to be part of this team. The more I learn about the Sauber F1 Team the more impressed I am.”
De Silvestro also describe the thrill of driving one of the fastest cars in the world. “The power is impressive,” she said. “Even going into fifth and sixth gear you feel it knock you back in your seat. After a while, though, you get used to it.”
This marks the third consecutive year that de Silvestro has visited the Charlotte campus to promote STEM education and encourage women to consider technical and male-dominated careers.