Who is Simona De Silvestro, the only woman driving at the Indy 500?
The Swiss Porsche factory driver has teamed up with Beth Paretta on an all women team and will come back to the Indy 500 for the first time since 2015.
Simona De Silvestro was born in 1988 in Switzerland. From an early age, she was interested in driving and moved around Europe, competing in various categories. Then, moved to the United States to compete in the Formula BMW USA Championship back in 2006. While in the States, she gained multiple recognitions and began creating a very successful resume.
On a curious note, De Silvestro is from Thun, a city that banned racing for 52 years.
At Indy 500
We made it! What an emotional day knowing that you have just 1 shot at making the race. Thank you to the whole team for the hard work. We definitely got in the hard way. Now let’s go racing #indy500 pic.twitter.com/nyRvnvjdSn— Simona De Silvestro (@simdesilvestro) May 24, 2021
Qualified to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010, driving for HVM Racing. During her first Indy outing, she placed 22nd, one of four women who competed in the race. And went on to finish 14, a position that got her the distinction of Rookie of the Year. That season she finished 19th in overall point.
An accident following the year after, where she burned her hands, made her question her career, to eventually get back on the horse and keep competing.
"When you go through something like that, you learn a lot about yourself," she says. "Indy's a special, special place where anything can happen. I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't gone through all that. So, yeah, I think it's good to come back now." So claimed Silvestro to Motor Sport Magazine.
Indy 500 2021
This year the Swiss driver will come back to racing at the Indy 500. It will be her first race since 2015. Silvestro is a Porsche factory driver, meaning that she has kept up with racing even after she last competed five years ago.
Silvestro will be racing for Beth Paretta, former director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles's factory racing portfolio. This will be an all-women team, an idea Peretta tried to bring to fruition in 2016 but failed when the team couldn't secure a chassis.
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