De Silvestro makes F1 debut

Simona de Silvestro says she is "in love" with driving an F1 car after completing her first test for Sauber.

De Silvestro was announced as an 'affiliated driver' for the Swiss outfit in February, with the team devising a 'preparation programme with the goal to gain her super licence and prepare for a race seat in Formula One for 2015'.

That programme began in earnest over the weekend when the 25-year-old Swiss woman drove a two-year-old C31 at the Ferrari test track in Fiorano.

"Two really great and successful days," she tweeted afterwards. "No words to describe driving an F1 car. I m just in love with it !!!"

In all, De Silvestro completed 180 laps - and did so, according to the team, 'without the slightest issue'.

"Simona drove very well, had a good pace and was consistent," reported Test Engineer Paul Russell.

No laps times were provided but De Silvestro was delighted with her debut.

"I can say that I already feel confident in the car, which is very positive. I'm quite happy with what I was able to achieve over the two days," she declared in the team's press release. "A big thank you to the team who did a fabulous job explaining everything to me, and giving me the time to reflect on this.

"I had a lot of questions, and I got all the answers from the engineers, who took the time to show me the data and discuss it with me in all detail. I'm already looking forward to my next opportunity to test the C31."

De Silvestro's next test in the Sauber C31 will take place from June 25-27 in Valencia.