Wickens suffered multiple injuries in Pocono crash


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IndyCar has released further details of the condition of Robert Wickens, who was injured in a serious crash during yesterday’s Pocono 500.

The Schmidt Peterson racer suffered injuries to his legs, right arm and spine when his car was launched into a fence on the seventh lap of the race. Wickens also suffered bruising to his lungs in the crash, which was triggered when he tangled with Ryan Hunter-Reay at turn two.

A statement released by IndyCar said Wickens “will undergo an MRI [scan] and probable surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest”, where he is being treated.

Hunter-Reay said he thought Wickens was no longer alongside him when they entered the corner.

“He had a run out of turn one, came up along the side of me, but I was in the draft of [Will] Power in front of me so I started pulling ahead. Once we got to [turn] two he was at my corner at best. I mean barely there.

“I thought, at that point, I had got to him, cleared him. I even gave room. I left a lane, left a half of a lane, if not more. I’ve got to look at it again. I was pretty shocked I got hit in the back.”

Wickens’ team mate James Hinchcliffe and rivals Takuma Sato and Pietro Fittipaldi were also eliminated in the crash. Hinchcliffe was hit by debris from the collision ahead of him.

“I took my hands off the wheel when I went backward and I think some piece of debris came in as I was holding [my hands] in, kind of just smacked the top of them so I took a bit of a beating. But nothing is broken, just some swelling and some cuts. We’ll rest it up and be fine.

“Obviously, I’m just hoping Robbie’s alright. Never good to see a car go up [into the fence] like that, but I know he is in good hands. Hopefully, we’ll see him back in the car soon.”

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Sato described how he was unable to avoid being caught up in the crash: “I saw Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car hit the wall and I immediately backed off but I was covered by oil, my helmet and my car, and there was nothing I could do. I just went straight into the wall.”

He pointed out that the reduced downforce levels on the cars had made turn two a more difficult corner.

“When you are side-by-side, drivers get adrenaline and want to go faster but the problem was in turn two, it used to be just a kink, it’s nothing, you could go flat side-by-side. But now, with the less downforce, it’s really bumpy and you’ve got to be really careful with that.

“I was side-by-side with [Sebastien] Bourdais into the corner and I backed off and braked but in front, unfortunately, Robert and Ryan made contact and that was nothing we could control.”

Video: IndyCar Pocono 500 highlights

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Wickens suffered multiple injuries in Pocono crash”

  1. Hoping for a quick recovery for Robet even though quick means next year.

    Time to blame on IndyCar and twitterer Mattzel who love to broadcast crashes à hundred times for likes and views.

  2. Best wishes to Wickens, he was having a stellar rookie year. Hopefully we will see hin soon back in the car

  3. The day when IndyCar abandons oval tracks can’t come soon enough. It’s boring to watch and unchallenging for the drivers. Oval tracks’ only purpose is to create fatal/nearly-fatal crashes which are massive enough to attract huge crowds. It shouldn’t be acceptable in 21st century. Watching oval racing is like watching slaves fighting each other or deadly animals at the Colosseum approx. 2000 years ago.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      20th August 2018, 15:27

      I would say you are in the small minority with having no oval tracks on the Indy schedule which would also mean no Indy 500.

      1. They could use GP layout. Or Road America 500..

    2. I could also do without ovals. I watch Indy, but to me the primary tension is waiting for someone to smack a concrete wall at 200mph and hoping they are not killed or maimed, and I often wonder why I do it. Every single “off” in this kind of racing can be career-ending or worse.

    3. @huhhii Not sure where you get that ovals are unchallenging for the drivers. And one of the bonuses to ovals is that everyone gets to see every driver’s day all day long…not just when they appear at the spot one is sitting.

      1. @robbie Because turning left in full-throttle kinks doesn’t ask for a talent from a driver. In oval racing things like fuel-saving are way more important. Sure it’s usually part of road racing as well, but it’s not as dominant as in oval racing. And yeah, now you’ll say fuel saving is a skill, and indeed it is, but any professional race driver can do it and learn it. The fact that Alexander Rossi as a rookie won Indy 500 and Fernando Alonso as a complete oval-newbie led Indy 500 just proves it’s about strategy, machinery and luck, not about the driver skills.

        1. @huhhii Well at most ovals they are not at full throttle all the time, and their need to feel through their seat the edge of adhesion is no different to any corners of any tracks in any series. They’re exercising extreme bravery as well. You are making assumptions that are inaccurate. Strategy, machinery, and luck also come into play in F1 and other series as well.

  4. Yesterday’s crash reminded me so much of the race crash that killed Dan Wheldon. For a while I thought we would lose one of the drivers. Shocking violent crash.

    Get Well Soon Robert.

  5. I agree with dropping ovals or significantly cutting back on the number of them per season with the current car and regulations. The injury to race ratio for Indy cars on oval courses is horrendous not counting the near misses(I.e. the lucky escape at the Indy 500 last year). Maybe restrict to 1 mile or smaller ovals. And I know this would eliminate the Indy 500 but honestly Indianapolis is the most dangerous track on the calendar with the speeds and the sharp 90 degree corners. We are also lucky no one was seriouy hurt from debris. Implementation of a halo device or windscreen cant come soon enough either, especially if ovals kept on the calendar.

    1. Was that the Sebastien Bourdais crash that fractured his hip? Or that was two years ago?

      1. I was refering to Scott dixon’s spectacle. But yes you can include Bourdais’ and Hinchcliffe’s accidents also

  6. More reminiscent of Jeff Krosnoff’s accident some years ago. I was a huge Adrian Fernandez fan, and what should have been a phenomenal memory of his 1st win, is now a dark memory. Even on a road course can a car get into a catch fence.

  7. That was a big crash and could easily been fatal. Lucky boy and I wish him a great recovery.

    If F1 chose to implement the halo (I didn’t agree at all) but certainly Indy with oval tracks and no run off would benefit more. Its not just protecting from tyres or debris but spinning into that fence a Halo could have helped him as well. Thankfully it didn’t come to that, but that was a nasty one!

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