Having qualified a lowly 21st due to a tyre pressure problem, Simona crashed out of Sunday morning’s warm up session when she hit a rolling tyre. Sebastien Bourdais had clipped the tyre barrier at Turn 1, setting it loose, and it sent Simona’s Lotus HVM flying into the outside wall. There was damage to the whole left side of the car, the left suspension, the front wing and the floor. The Lotus HVM Racing team rushed back to the garage, and worked nonstop to get the car fixed up and ready in time for the race.
Unfortunately, De Silvestro’s race ended after only eight laps. She was heard on the radio saying: “The engine’s not pulling. I have no power.” She made it to the pits and got out of the car. The crew took the car back to the garage, hoping to find the problem, fix it, and send Simona back out. However, on Lap nine, the #78 Lotus car was retired from the race for mechanical reasons. Simona finished in 24th position, ahead of Scott Dixon.
The race ended under caution, after incidents in Turns 1 and 3 took more cars out. The top three finishers were Ryan Hunter-Reay (#28), now leading the points, Charlie Kimball (#83), and Mike Conway (#14).
Simona de Silvestro: “I’m pretty disappointed. Something happened with the engine. We were hoping for a good finish, trying to stay out of trouble. It’s hard to say right now, we just did a couple of laps. We’ll have to see what happened and go to Edmonton and try to do better.”
Vincent Pereme, Motorsport Engine Manager, Lotus Racing: “The accident this morning had nothing to do with this afternoon’s engine failure during the race. It is clear it was engine failure as you could hear it when the car was on track. The first analysis on the data seems to show that the engine failure was not related to the new engine spec. It might be an unfortunate reliability issue, which has never happened before. We will send the engine back to England tomorrow morning to be able to analyze it better at the workshop, and have it ready for the next race, in Edmonton.”