Three more drivers are set to incur 10-spot grid penalties this weekend in Toronto, and two of them are the home favorites.
Both Alex Tagliani and James Hinchcliffe will start 10 spots further back after their respective teams, Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport, opted to make engine changes. Tagliani's is due to the team installing its fourth fresh engine rather than refitting its Indianapolis 500 practice/qualifying engine after meeting the mileage limit on its race engine.
A simple unapproved change before reaching the mileage limit is the reason for Hinchcliffe's adjustment. In Long Beach, Hinchcliffe also took a 10-spot penalty after Chevrolet opted to change out all its engines, but rebounded with his first career podium finish. He'll need a similar large scale comeback if he's to do likewise on home turf.
“Unfortunately, today is a day to forget really,” Hinchcliffe said. “It's too bad what happened the second session because with the first session not going too smoothly, we were really looking to make some gains. Hopefully, we can learn a lot off what Marco (Andretti) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) accomplished, but it's just putting us on the back foot - not only with setting the car up but with the engine penalty as well. Certainly it makes it more a challenging weekend than we wanted, but at the end of the day it's still possible for the Go Daddy car to move forward. Last time we got an engine penalty we were able to come back and finished on the podium. So we may be down but we're certainly not out.”
Meanwhile, HVM's Simona de Silvestro is also on the back foot despite improved pace for changing its Lotus engine this race in advance of its mileage limit. Additionally, because the team fitted its sixth engine of the season for the Toronto race (the engine service agreement is five), in violation of Rule 15.1.4, it will receive a 10-grid spot penalty at the Edmonton Indy in two weeks.
Still, de Silvestro could feel positive about improvements made on the newest spec Lotus that premieres this weekend.
“It was a pretty good session,” she said. “We only used one set of tires. It's kind of hard to say what everybody else did, but I think we improved the car; on the engine side too. We made some big progress so I'm pretty happy about that. We'll have to see in qualifying. That's when we'll know where we're at. I'm really happy with the racecar. Now we'll just work hard tonight to make it even better.”