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Lotus’s Simona de Silvestro had to start at the back of the grid for Sunday’s Californian round following an unapproved engine change, but bounced back to gain ten positions in the race. Good strategy and perfect pit stops made a big difference for the Swiss driver and her Lotus HVM Racing team during the action-filled race at the Infineon Raceway. After 85 laps, De Silvestro finished in 17th position. She performed a nice pass on Ed Carpenter’s eponymous #20 car near the end of the race. Simona de Silvestro: “I guess P17 is okay; I think it was all we could get. We’re still getting passed like we’re standing still on the straightaways, but I think it was a good weekend. We kept our heads during the race and towards the end the yellows starting coming out. That really helped us with our fuel mileage. It was a good race.” Keith Wiggins, team owner: “The team did a good job. Simona drove a good solid race, so we were able to make the best of it. Our windows were tight on fuel, but we managed to keep it within the three, so that was good. It was a good result for the circumstances we had. We don't want to get too excited about 17th, but I think it was the best result we could get today with what we had.” Vincent Pereme, Lotus’s motorsport engine manager: “We still need to improve, together with the team and the driver, the way we are using our push-to-pass as it seems that we are not using it in the best possible way. We are well aware that our motor is clearly down on power compared to the competitors, but we will keep fighting.”
Sunday’s sunny Edmonton Indy was America’s first premier open-wheel race to run ‘caution free’ since Portland 2007. Lotus HVM Racing’s Simona de Silvestro drove a consistent race and showed good speed through the corners, pulling a nice move on Ed Carpenter Racing’s No.20 car on Lap 17. Unfortunately the car’s lack of pace on the straights made it difficult to gain more positions, and she finished 23rd. Simona de Silvestro: “It was kind of a weird day. No yellows, so we couldn’t really get off strategy. We had to make one more stop than everybody else because our fuel consumption is comparatively poor. We had a strong race car today, but we’re still not fast enough.” Vincent Pereme, Lotus’s motorsport engine manager: “We had a new spec of engine for Edmonton with an additional performance upgrade. We are very pleased with the fact that we were able to finish the race with no engine related issue. This is very important information for us as it validates this new specification of engine as the base on which we will be able to do further work. We understand that it is frustrating for Simona, as it is for the HVM and for all of us at Lotus, to not be able to compete yet with the frontrunners. But we are showing clear signs of improvement at each race and that will continue through the season.”