Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Dec 2016 Jan 2017 Issue 96 Contents 63
other areas in motorsport because racing is still mainly
for guys. But there are more and more girls that are get-
represent that and I enjoy it.
To move to Australia to race Supercars for three
years is a big upheaval for your life, so why make
such a big commitment?
Well, it’s a big move. It was quite a hard decision
because when you live in Europe, Australia is not next
door, it’s quite far away from your family. But I think
one big key was really having the continuity.
Having three years is something I’ve never really had
in my career. I’ve never had the chance to really work on
something and develop it. There was always this uncer-
tainty at the end of every year. So that was a big factor.
Also, after Bathurst last year, I really enjoyed driving
the car and the racing of Supercars really attracts me
because in pure racing terms, I think Supercars and
IndyCar are the coolest categories because there’s a lot
of battling and that’s what I like.
I grew up in go-karts and stuff like that, so that close
competition is what I love. I think it’s going to suit me
more. So those factors were what really decided me.
You said it was a hard decision. What was it that
you agonised over?
I think moving so far away is always hard. For sure, as
a race driver, you’re always a bit of a loner, I would say,
because you follow your dream. Any athlete has to be
pretty focused. Leaving your family and friends behind
when you’re 28 is harder than when you are 16. So that
was one big thing that I really had to consider. Could I
move away and live there? The rest of it was stuff like if
I’m going to adjust to the car. But three years is a long time
and I think that gives me enough time to really develop.
Is the cost of it is that you’ve had to give up your
dream of top open-wheel racing, either in IndyCar
or even further?
Well, I don’t know if it’s a give-up. It’s a new challenge for
me. It’s also going to widen my experience a bit and maybe
it’s going to open different doors in the future. Or I could
have a long career here. So you never know what’s going
to happen, but the biggest thing is having fun in the car
and that was really one of the big factors. I’m enjoying
myself and I know that I can adapt and improve.
In the end, why you didn’t continue in IndyCar
came down to money, didn’t it?
A lack of budget also limited how far you were able
to take the Formula 1 testing opportunity with
Exactly. The frustrating thing about racing nowadays is
that it’s so dependent on sponsorship. As a driver you
sometimes think the only thing you’re doing is trying
to find money. You really have to worry each year that
it could be your last one and I don’t think that happens
much in the other sports. Having a three-year deal just
calms you down a bit because you don’t have to
worry about whether you have a job next
season. You can just focus on your
driving and improving yourself.
There’s no barrier to
women getting into
motorsport, unlike the
gender segregation in
most professional sports.
Yet the reality is that
so few females get the
opportunity to race. Why
do you think that is?
Well, when I look back over
the years, if a guy is quick, for
example, in Formula Renault, he
moves up to the next category because
he was just accepted as being quick and
people will believe in his talent.
As a woman, you just have to prove yourself. I’ve real-
ised every time I was in a new team, or even changing
categories, I really had to prove that I could do it. Even
nowadays everybody says it’d be great to have a woman
in the series. But for any driver, if he or she is going to
win, you have to be in a really good team. You just can’t
win with a small team – anybody, not just a female. And
I don’t think any female has had really the chance yet
to get the right opportunity to be in a competitive car.
So do you feel it’s been more difficult for you?
It’s so hard because I think in racing, in general, it’s
so difficult to get to the top. There are many factors
ABOVE: De Silvestro gets
grilled by Foges at Nissan
“RACING IS NOT A
COMMON THING FOR A
FEMALE TO DO, BUT I AM
ABLE TO SHOW THAT
IT IS POSSIBLE.”
V8X96 p60-64 Foges with Simona.indd 63
1/12/2016 3:50 pm
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