Rossi keeps Indy win despite car ballast violation

In the round-up: Alexander Rossi has kept his victory in the Brickyard Grand Prix after his car was found not to comply with the regulations.

In brief

Andretti fined over Rossi’s water bottle

Four days after Rossi’s victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, IndyCar announced his Andretti team had been fined $25,000 (£20,580) over a violation relating to his car’s water bottle.

While acknowledging Rossi’s car “met minimum requirements” for weight, which is set at 771 kilograms (1,700lbs) for road circuits, IndyCar president Jay Frye said “from a technical perspective, the way they achieved the weight is not allowed.”

“To meet minimum weight, the drink bottle and its contents were used as car ballast, which is not permitted and why the team is being fined and penalised.”

Rossi won Saturday’s race by 3.5 seconds ahead of Christian Lundgaard and Will Power, the latter moving into the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Mercedes explain Hungary strategy

George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022
Mercedes split their strategies in Hungary

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained how the team avoided the difficulties Ferrari faced in the Hungarian Grand Prix by starting pole winner George Russell on a different tyre to their rivals and committing to a more aggressive strategy in a race that presented them with many options.

“We looked at each case separately. With George we wanted him to be out front leading the race,” Shovlin explained. “The conditions were quite tricky, there was a bit of rain in the air, it looked like it was quite cold, could be quite slippy and that soft tyre would give him the best chance of getting off the line cleanly because to keep George’s hopes of winning the race alive we had to be leading that first stint.”

They took a different approach with Lewis Hamilton, who lined up seventh on the grid on medium tyres.

“The argument with Lewis was quite different. We had that DRS problem in qualifying that had meant he was well out of position so the medium tyre gave him better range, it allowed him to overcut, we could go longer and that put him on fresh rubber at the end of the race and ultimately that’s what allowed him to have that pace that could take him all the way to second place.”

Indy Lights temporarily loses a team

Indy Lights, the main feeder series to IndyCar, will be without one of its five teams for this weekend’s support race in Nashville as a driver has defect to a rival squad.

TJ Speed have lost James Roe Jnr to HMD Motorsports, leaving them with no drivers signed. Kyffin Simpson left the team in the previous round to also join HMD.

“I am extremely excited to be joining HMD this coming weekend,” said Roe. “It is a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in their championship-calibre Indy Lights programme.”

Tim Neff, team principal of TJ Speed, will still be in the paddock this weekend and will provide engineering support to another rival team, Abel Motorsports.

McLaren’s Ugochukwu joins Prema for ADAC F4 debut

McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu, currently racing in British Formula 4 with Carlin, will make his European racing debut this weekend at the Nurburgring, taking the place of Rafael Camara at the crack Prema team in Germany’s ADAC F4 series.

Camara has been ruled out of racing for the time being as he has tested positive for Covid-19, but is due to return, while Ugochukwu has signed a multi-event deal with Prema that will mean he will race for the team again either in the ADAC or Italian F4 championships on race weekends that do not clash with his British F4 campaign. He is currently third in the points in that championship.

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On this day in motorsport

It all kicked off at the Hungaroring between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso today in 2007