CLICK HERE to read's full Q&A with Simona de Silvestro

Simona de Silvestro has labelled Bernie Ecclestone's proposal of an all-female racing series as 'interesting' but rejects it as 'not the right way to go'

The Swiss racer is regarded as one of the world's most prominent female motorsport competitors having enjoyed podium-winning success in the IndyCar Series, while the Sauber F1 team signed her as an 'affiliated driver' in 2014 with a view to promoting her to an eventual race seat.

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Though de Silvestro's relationship wth Sauber was ended by a contractual issue last year, the discussion over female racers in F1 has grown this year on the back of Susie Wolff's association with the Williams F1 team and Lotus' move too sign Carmen Jorda as a development driver, even if neither is tipped for a race seat.

With this in mind, Bernie Ecclestone has suggested launching an all-female racing series, a proposal that drew criticism from Wolff but interest from Jorda. Talking to, however, de Silvestro sides with Wolff.

"It's interesting, but I think it's not the way to go," she said. "Personally, I've shown that I can be as fast as the guys, or even faster. The biggest thing for a female is to get a chance in Formula One, then they'll decide if we can do it or not."

Discussing her time at Sauber, which included a test day in a 2012 car in Fiorano, de Silvestro says she was caught out by sponsors not willing to part with cash without a pre-arranged drive and the team wanting the cash before they could confirm a drive, despite the publicity it would no doubt generate.

"The biggest issue, most of the time, is going to the sponsors and not being really able to guarantee the drive, because the team wants to see the money first. It can work out only if both sides want to find the solution at the same moment.

"Otherwise there is no guarantee to find a seat, because in F1 there are only twenty places, and the teams aren't wealthy enough to give a chance to the drivers."

After her year on the sidelines, de Silvestro has returned to the IndyCar Series this year, picking up a fourth place finish in the second round at NOLA.

CLICK HERE to read's full Q&A with Simona de Silvestro