Dale Coyne has revealed that Sebastien Bourdais is already itching to return following his crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, but the team boss told him not to rush his recovery so to come back stronger in 2018.
The Frenchman suffered pelvis and hip fractures in his crash into the SAFER barriers at turn two during his qualifying run, but told his Dale Coyne Racing boss that he wanted to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series before the end of the season, with the season finale at the Sonoma Raceway being mentioned.
“I went to see him this morning,” said Coyne to Motorsport.com on Tuesday. “He’s up and moving about, but he’s in more pain than he was before because the good stuff is wearing off now!
“One of his back ribs – right-side, third from the top – really hurts.
“First day after the crash he was saying he wanted to be back for Sonoma [the season finale]. I said, ‘No, skip Sonoma, then you’ve got an extra four months to heal, and come back in January and we’ll do it right.”’
Coyne also revealed that Bourdais’ wife Claire also dismissed the Frenchman’s hopes of racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, which runs next month, with everyone just wanting him to make a full recovery and come back to fight at the front of the field next year.
“Today he was saying he was figuring if there was any way possible to do Le Mans for Chip [Ganassi, who runs the Ford GT team],” said Coyne. “That’s next month! Claire [his wife] said no to that one…
“But yeah, he’s anxious to get back and Claire’s not putting any pressure on him to quit racing. And as I said to them yesterday, that accident was as big an accident as you can have at this place, and you’re sitting here and talking and joking and you’re already starting to stand.
“The true measure of a man is not on a good day, it’s on a bad day, and bad days make you want to come back and be that much more successful. People walk away hating this place after something like that, but they can’t wait to get back and try and do it right.”