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"I'm making major progress": Simon Pagenaud issues health update

Written by Archie O'Reilly

Simon Pagenaud has issued an update on his health following a period of silence as he continued his recovery from the 180 mile-per-hour crash during practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 1st July last year.

The Frenchman's No.60 Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) car suffered a manufacture brake failure, which caused several high-speed barrel rolls. While Pagenaud walked away from the crash, he missed the remainder of that weekend and was not cleared to race again in 2023 having been under frequent and strict examination from the IndyCar medical team.

Amid Pagenaud suffering from concussion, MSR fielded a mixture of Conor Daly, Linus Lundqvist and 2024 driver Tom Blomqvist across the final nine races of the season. Pagenaud does not have an IndyCar seat for 2024 and has departed MSR, but he still claims he is "making major progress" in a bid to return to racing.

In a statement, he said: "The IndyCar safety team did an amazing job to get me out of the car and to look after me in the first hours after the impact, and I will be forever thankful to them. Due to the accident, I couldn’t continue my season which meant that I only did eight races in 2023.

"Ever since, I have been concentrating on getting my health back to 100%. For that, I have been working closely with a great team of doctors and I have been progressing every day.

I don't know yet if I will be back behind a wheel in 2024 nor if I am ready for it. I want to take things slowly to make sure that when I come back, I am at my very best again."

Pagenaud seems confident that this is not the end of his career, but he is understandably not putting a timeframe on when his return to racing - whether in IndyCar or elsewhere - may come.

"This is not the end as better times are ahead," he closed his statement.

Pagenaud also took to social media to provide a video update on his condition. There was a clear sense of realism amid the feeling that he is progressing.

"Unfortunately, the injuries don't show on the outside," he said. "I actually feel really great physically, but it’s on the inside. So those are frustrating injuries because you don't get to see them heal. Just time makes a difference.

"So I have to be very patient, doing a lot of rehab and getting stronger every day. With that, however, it goes up and down and some days you get better, some days it's a regress. But, overall, I just want to reassure everybody that I'm doing well. I just want to be at the top level, and I'm working on that. I am working on getting myself back to 100 percent.

"All the doctors, the IndyCar medical team, have been phenomenal, helping me, connecting me with the right people. And I do a lot of work in the background that obviously, right now, nobody gets to see. But I want to thank everybody for the support.

"I want to reassure everybody that I'm not forgetting about all the support from fans out there that have been so supportive. So thank you very much, everyone. I'll keep working hard and keep pushing. I'm very hopeful to get stronger and better very soon."

Winning the IndyCar Series championship with Team Penske in 2016, twice finishing second beyond that, plus winning the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2019, Pagenaud has been one of IndyCar's modern greats. There is palpable relief throughout the IndyCar community upon this positive update.


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