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Andretti, Rossi penalized for illegal water bottle in winning car at Indy

Rossi's car failed inspection following Saturday's win on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Credit: AP
Alexander Rossi, center, celebrates after winning an IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar on Wednesday fined Andretti Autosport $25,000 because the team used a water bottle to make weight in the car Alexander Rossi drove to end his 49-race losing streak.

Rossi's car failed inspection following Saturday's win on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. IndyCar said the water bottle was used instead of ballast to ensure the car met the minimum weight requirement.

“From a sporting perspective, the car met minimum requirements,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “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 was also docked 20 points in the standings, but he ranked eighth in the standings before the penalty and was already long out of IndyCar's season title chase. Rossi is leaving Andretti at the end of the season to drive for Arrow McLaren SP.

“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 Rossi 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, from California, won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 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.

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