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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]
Charlie Kimball (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
The finish of the 2014 Indy 500 (Photo by: Walter Kuhn for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay kisses the bricks (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar media)
Simon Pagenaud wearing his Senna tribute helmet (Photo by: Karl Zemlin for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Johnny Rutherford speaks with official pace car driver Dario Franchitti (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in pit lane (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Red Flag for caution during the race (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay wins the Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Jim Haines 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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