Sauber has named Simona De Silvestro as an "affiliated driver" in an attempt to help her race in F1.

De Silvestro has been racing in IndyCar for the last four years, with a best finish of second place in Houston last year. As part of the deal, she will carry out some track testing with the aim of securing a super licence in time for the 2015 season. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn admitted the decision to sign De Silvestro was linked to helping her progress in to a future race seat in F1.

"After four years in IndyCar, Simona's ambition is to enter Formula One in 2015," Kaltenborn said. "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."

De Silvestro described herself as "thrilled" to be able to work with Sauber to prepare herself for a potential move.

"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," De Silvestro said. "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."

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