IndyCar hit Andretti Autosport and Alexander Rossi with a loss of 20 points and a $25,000 fine Wednesday because the team used a water bottle to make weight in the winning car in the July 30 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Rossi ended a 49-race losing streak with the victory. His No. 27 Dallara-Honda failed postrace inspection when it was discovered to be underweight. IndyCar said the water bottle was used instead of ballast, and the car failed to meet the minimum weight requirement.
“From a sporting perspective, the car met minimum requirements,” 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 penalized.”
Rossi also was docked 20 points and dropped a spot to ninth in the championship standings. The Nevada City, California, native has four races remaining in a seven-season run with Andretti before leaving for Arrow McLaren SP next season.
“We regret the mistake and appreciate IndyCar’s understanding that the No. 27 was compliant during the race,” the team said in a statement, adding it looked forward to moving on to this weekend’s racing in Nashville.
His win Saturday ended a three-year losing streak that dated to Road America in Wisconsin in 2019 and spanned 1,133 days. The victory also helped him leave his No. 27 team on a positive note; almost 70% of Rossi’s team has been with him for his seven seasons driving for Andretti.
Rossi won the 100th running of the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2016. He’d returned to the United States that season after his time chasing a seat in Formula One came to an end. Rossi’s five races in the 2015 season make him the last American driver to compete in an F1 weekend.