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Indy 500: I’m lucky to be here, says de Silvestro

Simona de Silvestro has been talking about the wild ride she took during Thursday's practice session, and the burn injuries to her hands that might keep her out of the Indy 500.
Simona de Silvestro was forced to sit out practice today as she recuperated from serious burn injuries to her hands sustained in a major crash early in practice on Thursday.

The crash happened just 25 minutes into the session, on her seventh lap of the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"Something broke on the rear suspension and when that happens you're just a passenger," she confirmed, "especially when you're going about 220 mph. I hit the wall and it took forever to land it seemed, and then it started getting pretty hot out there.

"It was pretty shocking actually, especially to be on fire. It's kind of weird because the fuel is splashing on you and you don't really know what to do. A lot of things go through your head, but you want to get out of the car as quickly as possible.

“I don't think I was a good patient in the infield medical centre because I was in a lot of pain and I was screaming for water to cool my hands down,” she continued, praising the good care she received there. The team carried out some preliminary treatment for second degree burns to the back of her right hands and superficial burns to her left before dispatching her to the local Methodist Hospital.

She returned to the paddock later in the day sporting what she dubbed on Twitter as her "Mickey Mouse gloves" - the oversize dressings on her hands.

It's not the first time she's found herself in this position. Ironically, in the very next race after Indianapolis last year, de Silvestro had a serious crash at Texas that also saw her car catch fire, and she received burn injuries when the safety crew had trouble deploying their fire-fighting equipment and extricating her from the burning car.

Those burns were fairly minor, however, compared to her current injuries. IndyCar medical director Dr. Michael Olinger evaluated her injuries on Friday morning and said he could not clear her to race; as part of the evaluation he removed her bandages to examine the burns, allowing her to see the situation for herself at the same time: "We took the bandages off and [my hands] were really blistered.

“[Last year's burns] were small blisters on the palms of my hand and these look like something out of a horror movie,” the 22-year-old Swiss driver continued. “It looks bad and feels bad ... I can move my hands, but it is pretty tight because it pulls the skin."

She will undergo further evaluation which will take place before Saturday's qualifying sessions. The tests require her to wear a tight glove, firmly grip the steering wheel and absorb the physical stress of the car turning at high speeds. Gripping the steering wheel will be difficult enough, let along the manual dexterity required for using the gearshift paddles: "It will hurt a lot. Luckily, on an oval it's not as physical as a road course."




Related Pictures

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Simona de Silvestro returns to pit lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after being treated in hospital for burns to both hands, following a practice crash on Thursday, May 19. [Picture credit: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media]
Simona de Silvestro talks with the press about her Thursday practice crash and the injuries which kept her out of Friday`s session. [Picture credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media]
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Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with team owner Roger Penske after winning the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Accident for Sage Karam on the first lap of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya is congratulated by his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves after clinching victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chequered flag for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Walter Kuhn for IndyCar Media)

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pilsbury - Unregistered

May 21, 2011 8:38 AM

Of course Simona had gloves on, but they are much thinner than the race suit, you need to have dexterity with your hands. I hope she is okay, i genuinly think Simona is the quickest woman driver out there, i think she will get a win eventually.



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