Bianchi was forced to hastily park his car after the engine blew at the end of the straight on the approach to the chicane at turns 13 and 14 at the Nurburgring.
The Frenchman then beat a speedy retreat as the rear of the Marussia caught fire, leaving marshals in attendance to deal with the matter.
Soon after, though, with the car poised to be moved out of the way by a recovery vehicle, it began to roll backwards down a hill and back across the track just as leaders Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean came into view.
With both drivers forced to slow, the car continued to trundle across the grass on the other side of the circuit, its momentum eventually halted by an advertising board.
Speaking to Press Association Sport, Lowdon said: "You could see it was a catastrophic failure of the engine, and instantaneous because we didn't see anything until it went.
"It was a bit frustrating because we had just managed to get ahead of both Caterhams and the race was looking quite good for us.
"Jules pulled off the track straight away, the car was in neutral when he stopped, and he then put the steering wheel back on, as he is required to do.
"There was a marshal in attendance when he left the car, which was stationary. There was nothing more Jules could have done.
"There was clearly no engine, he couldn't put it in gear, he couldn't do anything with it at all.
"What happened is part of the nature of this circuit - it's hilly - although obviously not something you want to see, but one of those things.
"Thankfully nobody had to avoid the car. There was obvious relief nothing happened, but it was pretty slow moving at the time and the yellow flags were also out."