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Interview with Simona de Silvestro

Danica Patrick will be the most famous female driver in the United States of America. But, Swiss Simona de Silvestro is looking for the challenge. Simona de Silvestro drives the Champcar Atlantics, a feeder series of the Champcar World Series and a rivaling championship of the Indy Racing League. RacingInside.com spoke to Simona de Silvestro about her switch to the United States of America.

Simona de SilvestroHello Simona, you are a young and talented girl. Unfortunately, a lot of our visitors do not know who Simona de Silvestro is. Could you give an introduction of yourself?
I’m Simona de Silvestro. I’m 18 years old, I’m coming from Switzerland and I’m a race driver. I finished fourth in the American Formula BMW championship this year! I’m in racing since I was twelve years old and started with go-karts!

A lot of people are dreaming of a career in the racing-business. How did you get involved with racing? Did you have the ‘virus’ from the start on?
My father gave me the virus. I always loved watching Formula 1 and racing has been in my blood since I was born.

The start of your career was with the go-karts and you also drove Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula BMW USA. Which of these classes is the most spectacular and fun to drive? What does driving the go-kart mean for the rest of your career? Is it something that will help you in your further career?
My best season was this year, when I finished fourth in the American Formula BMW Championship. Racing in go-karts helped me racing with other people and I learned how to race from that on.

In 2007 you will race the Champcar Atlantics. That must be a great step in your career? Do you look forward to drive the Champcar Atlantics? What makes Champcar Atlantics that nice?
It’s the most logical step for me in my career. The car of the Champcar Atlantics is a very good car and very fun to drive. Champcar Atlantic is very attractive, because it’s combined with the weekends of the Champcar!

What is the best race/thing in your career and what is the worst race/thing in your career?
The best race was in Lime Rock, where I won the race in Formula BMW. It was my first win within racing cars. The worse race was my last race in MoSport, when I was only at 7 points from the leader in the championship and my team didn’t put all their capacity in me to win.

If you take a look at your schedule, how does a normal week of Simona de Silvestro look like? Do you have a special training-programme?
My days are very similar. I’m training two hours every morning and two hours every afternoon to be ready to race the races. Sometimes it’s hard, but if you want to be a racedriver you need to be fit!

If you could change one thing in your career, what will it be?
I don’t want to change a thing, because I think that the bad season has been there for a reason to learn from my mistake, and to not do the same mistake the next year!

Simona de Silvestro driving Champcar AtlanticsYou are a young and talented driver. Why did you moved your career to the United States?
It was because of a sponsor, and I didn’t know where I wanted to go in Europe. I also didn’t know if I wanted to do another year in Formula Renault. I had this opportunity and I think it was a good choice to go to the USA!

You are a girl that is participating in a world of men, oil and rubber.  Are there people who are negative about you or are they all very positive about a girl that is racing on such a high level?
I don’t think there is a big difference. If you are fast you are considered as a driver.

If you take a look in your future, what do you hope that it brings? Do you have special targets that must be accomplished?
My dream is Formula 1, but it’s very hard to get there. Here in the USA I will try to go to Champcar. It’s a very good category and I would like to become a professional racedriver!

What would you like to say to all the boys and girls that are dreaming of a career in racing?
It’s a very hard world, but if you love it like me you need to put 200% in it. It’s a beautiful sport!