Franchitti undergoes successful second surgery on fractured ankle

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An update issued this afternoon from Target Chip Ganassi Racing reports that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti underwent surgery earlier today to repair the talus bone in his fractured right ankle. The procedure lasted a little over three hours.

“Dr. Tim Weber repaired Dario’s ankle and his surgery went perfectly and just as planned,” said IndyCar orthopedic consultant Dr. Terry Trammell in a statement. “His post-operation X-rays looked great.  Everything is positive at this point as Dario continues his recovery.”

The ankle injury was one of several injuries Franchitti sustained in a last-lap accident during Race 2 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Oct. 6. He also suffered a concussion and two fractured vertebrae in his back.

Last Thursday, Franchitti was released from a Houston hospital to head back to Indianapolis for further treatment; he had received a first surgery to stabilize the ankle while recuperating in Texas.

Alex Tagliani has been chosen by TCGR to replace Franchitti in the No. 10 Honda for Saturday’s season-ending MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra).

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”