De Silvestro to get track time with Sauber

Sauber are hoping to give Swiss female driver, Simona de Silvestro, a boost by putting her through a training programme with the hope that she can secure a race seat in 2015.

De Silvestro joins the team as an 'affiliated driver', meaning she will undergo rigorous training, on-track testing and simulator work to get her ready for F1. The team then hope to help her secure a super licence.

The 25-year-old competed in the Formula BMW USA series in 2006 and the Atlantic Championship between '07 and '09. Over the past four years De Silvestro has been driving in the IndyCar Series where she won the prestigious Indy 500 "Rookie of the Year" Award in 2010 and became the first woman to earn a podium finish on a street circuit.

Speaking about the chance, she said: "This is a major step towards me achieving a life-long dream and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to take this step with such a great team. The Sauber F1 Team is a team with a legacy and the only Swiss team in Formula One, which I think makes this even more exciting.

"I can't thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber enough for their support and belief in my abilities and for giving me this chance. I’m thrilled to have this extremely unique platform on which to prepare myself to take on the challenge."

Monisha Kaltenborn, team principal added: "After four years in IndyCar, Simona’s ambition is to enter Formula one in 2015. We regard her as a very talented race driver, and we, therefore, decided to take her on board as an 'affiliated driver' and support her on her way to the pinnacle of motorsport."