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“I like her, she’s way nicer than Danica.”
Simona de Silvestro - By far the best female driver in IndyCar.  Put her in a top ride like Danica has and watch her go
The fan outside Simona de Silvestro’s garage said what a lot of people were thinking: “I like her, she’s way nicer than Danica.”

She certainly was on Saturday. Way nicer than Patrick. And way faster.

The 21-year-old rookie from Switzerland finished seventh in qualifying for the Honda Indy Edmonton, just a sliver out of the coveted Firestone Fast Six and a country mile ahead of the most famous female in racing.

“It’s going to be a long race, a hard race, really physical here, so starting more up front is going to help us,” beamed de Silvestro, savoring the best qualifying effort of her young IndyCar career.

“We made a mistake of using both sets of red tires in the first session, if we would have had fresh tires in the second session I think we could have made top six, but I think we can be pretty happy with what we have.”

It showed. While Patrick bolted into her garage on a scooter, wearing a scowl that could curdle rum and not even making eye contact with a few brave fans who were hoping for a quick signature, de Silvestro was walking (actually walking, without any entourage) through the paddock, stopping every few steps for an autograph or picture.

High maintenance she ain’t.

“It’s nice that people appreciate what I’m doing out there on the track. I don’t know, I just walk. I’m used to walking. I don’t think it should change now.”

Seventh is the best result of her rookie career (Patrick will start 14 places back in 21st), which is good in itself — and great when you consider that in the money-talks world of motor sports, where the biggest checkbook almost always wins, she’s driving for a Little Team That Could. Edmonton Sun

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