Sebastien Bourdais Breaks Hip And Pelvis In Violent Crash During Indy 500 Qualifying

He was turning some of the fastest laps of the day when it all went very wrong.

Sebastien Bourdais was on the third lap of his qualifying run Saturday when he lost the car. His first two laps had been the quickest of the day up to that point. Coming out of turn two, the back end of the car twitched and it was out of his hands. 

The back end lost traction and stepped out just a little. Bourdais may have tried to catch the car, but as the back end jumped back to the let, the rear wheels got hooked up again. The car shot straight into the wall with almost no speed scrubbed off. 

The impact was so violent, I literally jumped and some manner of horrified noise came out of my mouth as I watched the live feed. 

After hitting the wall, Bourdais car slid along the top of the track, eventually finding it’s way upside down, with flames and sparks shooting out. 

Once the car righted itself and finally came to a stop, Bourdais could be seen trying to open his visor, which is a sign to the safety crew that he is alright. Bourdais was carefully extracted from the car and taken by ambulance straight to IU Methodist Hospital. 

Around 8:30pm, IndyCar released the news via Twitter that Bourdais suffered a broken hip and pelvis in the accident.


Bourdais hit the wall head on at around 220 mph. Thankfully, the SAFER Barrier, the car, and the rest of the safety equipment did the job they were designed to do and absorbed most of the impact.

Bourdais 2017 season got off to a great start as he won his howntown race in St. Petersburg, FL. He finished second a few weeks later in Long Beach and then eighth in Alabama. Since then, a string of bad luck has kept him from finishing. Unfortunately, this will probably be the end of his season.

We here at The Drive wish Sebastien a speedy and trouble-free recovery and hope he’s back behind the wheel as soon as possible. 

We’ll post any updates as they become available.


IndyCar released a brief update today on Bourdais. 

“Surgery went well,” INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows said. “I’ve met with Sebastien this morning and he was doing even better than I expected.”


This is about the best news you could you hope for.