LOTUS DRR FINISHES 11TH FOR THE SAO PAULO INDY 300
Servia started the race 23rd and finished a season best of 11th. Yesterday in qualifying he clocked the 24th fastest time, but there was an issue with the motor and the team had to change it after the session. As a result, Servia was penalized 10 grid positions for the unapproved engine change, but other teams had to make engine changes and as a result, Oriol started 23rd.
After this morning's warm-up session, the team had an issue with the alternator and had to change it. It was a push to get Oriol out for the start, but the team got the No.22 WIX Filters car on the grid just as the drivers were given the command to start their engines.
Servia came in on Lap 19 for the first time to fill full with fuel and switch from the Firestone Firehawk primary (black-sidewall) tires to the alternate (red-sidewall) tires. Unfortunately, he was penalized for speeding in pit lane and had to come back in on Lap 21 to complete a drive thru penalty, which cost him some positions.
The yellow came out on Lap 23 and Servia came back in to top off on fuel. The restart was on Lap 26 due to a multi-car pileup. Co-Owner Robbie Buhl was spotting for Oriol and helped him to miss the chaos. As a result, he filtered up to P8.
Oriol came in on Lap 48 for a full fill of fuel and to switch from Firestone Firehawk alternate (red-sidewall) tires to a fresh set of "red- sidewall" tires. The caution came out again on Lap 62 and Servia would come into the pits for the final time for a full fill of fuel and to switch from the "red" tires to another set of "red" tires, as he found he got better grip with the Firestone Firehawk alternate (red-sidewall) tires. On Lap 66 the green flag flew, but there was another multi-car pileup, but Servia, who was P18 on the restart, made it through the mess and filtered up to P11.
Oriol Servia, No. 22 Lotus DRR, on the race in Brazil: "Life, especially in racing, is very interesting. We almost didn't make the start of the race. The guys did an amazing job. They were working until the last second putting the engine together and we didn't think that we were going to make it. Somehow we picked up the best result of the year and we'll take it. The engine got up and running, but it was definitely challenging as we lacked top speed on the straights, which made it difficult. I knew that I just had to survive and stay out of trouble. I was hoping to not get hit and we were lucky that didn't happen. We had a great race and thank you to WIX Filters and the entire team. We are now turning the new chapter. This rough beginning of the season has helped us to mature together. We've grown a lot, very fast and it will be a great way to proceed for the rest of the season."