The native of Mont-sur-Rolle, Switzerland, began her career in karting and made the move into cars in 2005, competing initially in the Italian Formula Renault 2.0 series before setting her sights on North America. After finishing a strong fourth in the 2006 Formula BMW North America Championship, earning one race win and five additional podium finishes – including becoming the first woman ever to stand on the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Simona moved on to the Cooper Tires Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Her first win came at Long Beach in 2008, followed by a serious title challenge in 2009 when only an unfortunate incident in the series finale obliged her to settle for third place in the final points table. Despite that, she still ended the year with more pole positions (four) and laps led than any other contender, and the same tally of race wins (four) as her primary rivals.
De Silvestro stepped up into the IndyCar Series for 2010, and has gradually made her way toward the front of the pack. She finished an excellent fourth on the streets of St. Petersburg in 2011 and, after a difficult year with an uncompetitive Lotus engine in 2012, bounced back to qualify third and finish sixth at St. Petersburg in 2013. She added a well-deserved fifth at Baltimore before finally earning her first IndyCar podium at Reliant Park Houston.
Rising star Simona De Silvestro earned her first IndyCar Series podium last year at Houston and is now accepting questions as the newest Online Driving Instructor for the Road Racing Drivers Club's SAFEisFAST.com initiative. Her answers will be posted beginning Monday, January 20.