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de Silvestro impresses on Sao Paulo debut

Simona de Silvestro may have finished the opening round of the 2010 IndyCar Series a handful of laps behind winner Will Power - but not before she had led the race on debut.
IndyCar Series rookie Simona de Silvestro was disappointed, yet upbeat, after her debut on the streets of Sao Paulo.

The Swiss driver qualified eleventh in the #78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM car and narrowly missed the five-car wreck at the start, but suffered a flat right-rear tyre after running over debris during the full-course caution.

She re-joined in 13th spot but was quickly relegated to 17th having refuelled during the enforced stop. Her fortune would change, however, when another yellow flag came out, allowing de Silvestro to gain the lead as she stayed on track while the remainder of the field pitted.

She was the first rookie to lead on debut since Graham Rahal at St Petersburg in 2008, but de Silvestro soon found herself fighting off Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti for the lead.

Their battle came to an end when the skies over Sao Paulo opened up, forcing all drivers back to the pits for rain tyres. Again de Silvestro stayed out but, unfortunately, the pits would close for another full-course caution, which forced de Silvestro to stay out on the racetrack for six laps.

As conditions worsened, the race was suspended and, after the half-hour red flag period, de Silvestro was once again bitten by bad luck. She began to experience rear suspension problems, causing her to take a trip back to the pits for lengthy repairs. After losing three laps, she returned to finish in 16th place.

"Despite the rear braking problems and the different things that happened during the race, it was a real good experience," de Silvestro reported, "I think we can be pretty competitive during the year - we just have to continue to work real hard and I'm sure we'll go in the right direction."

Team principal Keith Wiggins was satisfied, while sharing his driver's disappointment with the result.

"We started off pretty good, obviously, and we got into a pretty good position and looked very strong," he said, "but it went a bit against us when the rain came and the pits closed. It went downhill from there. It's a bit of a disappointing finish considering she was doing such a fantastic job."



Related Pictures

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Simona de Silvestro - HVM Racing   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson celebrate after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro celebrates after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro gets airborne in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Saturday, August 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso, driver of the #5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Andretti Autosport HVM Chevrolet, races to a fifth-place finish Sunday, July 14, 2013 during the IZOD IndyCar Series Race Two in the Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
KV Racing duo Simona di Silvestro and Tony Kanaan at the Pocono Open Test - July 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media.)
The wrecked #78 KV Racing Technology car of Simona de Silvestro is removed after an early accident in the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for indyCar Media.)
EJ Viso in the ¢5 Andretti-HVM car on the seventh day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Friday May 17, 2013. (Picture Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe , driver of the #27 Andretti Autosport GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 5, 2013 in the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of SãoPaulo, Brazil. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevrolet)
James Hinchcliffe , driver of the #27 Andretti Autosport GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag Sunday, May 5, 2013, winning the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of SãoPaulo, Brazil. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevrolet)
James Hinchcliffe , driver of the #27 Andretti Autosport GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, races to victory Sunday, May 5, 2013 in the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of SãoPaulo, Brazil. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)

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