FORMULA DREAM/PANASONIC DRIVER MUTOH RETIRED FROM THE INDY 500 WITH HANDLING PROBLEMS
OVERALL: Mutoh matched his best qualifying position at Indianapolis and started on the outside of Row 3 in ninth place. He maintained his position in the early laps of the race but reported his car was loose after the first restart from caution and dropped two places by Lap 7. After 19 laps he reported that the car was very loose and ultimately dropped to 28th place before he pitted for adjustments. Further pit stops for adjustments did not improve the handling and the team ultimately decided to retire from the event after completing 76 of 200 laps.
Hideki Mutoh, No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I'm very, very disappointed because I know the guys have been working very hard over the winter and for the whole month. We had a very good car before but today it wasn't the same. I couldn't find the right balance or get up to speed. I don't think the problem was entirely the heat; there was something else as well but I think the heat made it worse. We tried to fix it but couldn't find the exact problem. I felt a problem immediately but I didn't think it was big enough to retire from the race. Lap by lap the handling was getting worse and worse and I was losing grip. Unfortunately I couldn't hold it. It was a very free, very light car. The team worked hard to improve it but nothing made a difference. I couldn't maintain a high speed and I didn't want to damage the car or hurt someone's race. Unfortunately this is just part of the Indy 500."