By Eric Mauk: Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports team was fined $5,000 by Indy Car for not complying with the series rule concerning the maximum capacity of the fuel cell in the car.
Simon Pagenaud had one of the more impressive drives of the night Saturday in the IZOD Indy Car Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway, coming from 25th on the grid to finish fifth.
Today, the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports team that fields the #77 Honda-powered machine was fined $5,000 by Indy Car for not complying with the series rule concerning the maximum capacity of the fuel cell in the car.
Indy Car determined that no further penalties were warranted as the size of the fuel cell had no impact of Pagenaud’s result. A check of the lap chart would bear those findings out.
At no time during the race did Pagenaud’s car stay on track significantly longer than others that were on his same fuel strategy according to the lap chart provided by Amy Konrath of Indy Car’s public relations staff. The most telling portion of the race that displays this was when Pagenaud pitted under yellow on Lap 73.
The Frenchman was running 12th at the time and pitted under caution with Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball and James Jakes. Pagenaud climbed from 12th to fourth on his subsequent stint, but still pitted under green at the same time Rahal did, and one lap before Kimball – which appears to show that Pagenaud gained no performance advantage.