She crashed, admitted fear and
Words Jeff Olson
survived a confidence wobble.
Now Simona de Silvestro is
recovering – and driving – fast.
Main image Michael Levitt/LAT
This wasn’t supposed to have been another story about crashes or fire or burns. Nor was it supposed to have been a story about concussions.
Or fear, for that matter. No, this was supposed to
have been a story about a young racer destined for
success, perfecting skills, gaining assurance and
speed and advancing ever closer to victory. It was, by
all accounts, supposed to have been a positive story
about the power of potential and the anticipation of
But one can’t tell the story of Simona de Silvestro
without all of the above. That’s because her story is
now in recovery mode, as is her career and her
confidence. Crashes and fire and burns and
concussions have that effect; thus, we find ourselves,
just as she is, questioning whether the confidence
will return quickly. We watch and wait. We wonder
with her if this will ever be the story it was supposed
to have been.
It started splendidly enough, this 2011 sophomore
season, with her taking HVM Racing’s brand-new
chassis to a rousing fourth-place finish in the IZOD
IndyCar Series opener in March at St. Petersburg.
This was mere days after losing her former race
engineer Michael Cannon to KV Racing and adapting
to his replacement Brent Harvey. It continued with a
ninth place at Barber Motorsports Park. The murmur
heading into the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500,
then, was Simona. Was she capable of winning? Was she