Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Finally, the wait for a female Formula One driver could be over next season. According Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro, she is confident to break the male domination by racing in 2015, should the opportunity present itself.
In April this year, the 25-year-old tested a two-year old Sauber at the Fiorano Circuit, thus giving her the much needed confidence for a F1 ride. Currently associated with the Swiss team, Sauber, Simona hopes to emulate legendary Lella Lombardi as only the second female driver to compete in the F1 Championships.
Popular F1 magazine, F1 Racing reported Silvestro as saying, "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."
Despite all the clamour for an inclusive F1, the sport has largely remained a male bastion. But every now and then, there are female drivers hitting the headlines but with limited representation in the racing front.
Talking about this aspect, the Silvestro stressed, "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."
Known as the `The Iron Maiden`, Silvestro became the first female driver to secure a road course podium by finishing second in the 2013 Grand Prix of Houston. Three seasons earlier, she won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award in her debut season – a rare feat achieved by legends Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya.