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Indy 500: de Silvestro out of Fast Friday

Simona de Silvestro will have to sit out the final full day of practice for the Indianapolis 500, after the IndyCar medical team evaluated burns to her hands sustained in her Thursday crash.
HVM Racing's Simona de Silvestro has been told by the IndyCar medical team that she has not been cleared to return to active duty today, following her huge crash early in the Thursday practice session.

IndyCar medical director Dr. Michael Olinger examined the burns on her hands, changed the dressings but declined to clear her to drive today, saying that she would have to sit out Fast Friday.

IndyCar added that de Silvestro would be re-evaluated on Saturday morning in time for her to take part in the final two pre-qualification practice sessions, should she be passed fit to participate.

The burns were sustained just 25 minutes into the Thursday practice session when a suspension failure on her seventh lap of the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway caused her to crash at high speed into the barrier off turn 3, the car going airborne and flipping upside down before coming to a halt into turn 4, where it caught fire.

Although de Silvestro was able to extricate herself from the car with the assistance of the safety team and walked to the ambulance under her own power, medics found that she had suffered second degree burns on the back of her right hand and superficial burns to her left and she was sent to Methodist Hospital for treatment.

She later returned to the paddock sporting over-sized medical dressings on her hands to protect the wounds from infection - which she dubbed "Mickey Mouse gloves" in her tweet to fans.

The lost practice time is particularly damaging to de Silvestro's Indy 500 campaign, as the drivers had managed to have only one day without rain-interruption prior to Thursday. Two days were complete washouts, and a third was too cold and windy to make it safe or relevant to carry out any practice runs.

After missing almost all of the Thursday session after her accident, and now being ruled out of Fast Friday - which, as the name implies, is when teams are fine-tuning their qualifying set-ups and boosting their lap times to the absolute maximum ahead of qualifying on Saturday and Sunday - de Silvestro will be at a huge disadvantage even if she is cleared to participate in Pole Day qualifying tomorrow.

In the meantime, the HVM team also have to build up a new car for de Silvestro, after confirming that the main car involved in the accident was damaged beyond repair and that "it's going in the trash."




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