Alexander Rossi had an eventful start to the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix weekend after being called up to race for the Marussia F1 Team.
Alexander joined the Marussia F1 Team as Official Reserve Driver during the Hungarian Grand Prix last month. This weekend he was immediately called upon to race for the team at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for his debut Formula 1 start. However, following further developments, it was announced this morning that Max Chilton would resume his role as Race Driver for the weekend, with Alexander taking part in the first Free Practice session.
Despite the business events surrounding him, Alexander took it all within his stride and went straight to work during the Friday morning Free Practice session. Alexander has a great amount of mileage and experience in Caterham F1 Team equipment, but this was his first taste of the Marussia F1 Team MR03 machinery. With many new systems to understand and get used to, Alexander completed a very positive and successful run programme.
Driving the MR03 in this morning's Free Practice session was extremely positive, despite the small technical challenges which affected the overall pace.
Alexander completed 20 solid laps during his debut with the Marussia F1 Team and despite a suspension problem and no DRS he finished the session in P20 with plenty of valuable data for the team ahead of the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix.
Alexander Rossi - “Overall I feel it has been a very positive couple of days. Obviously I am disappointed not to be racing this weekend. I’ve spent my whole life and career working towards competing and I’m ready to race in F1. However, today was a very positive step in my role with Marussia F1 Team. I’m now even more ready to step into a race seat when called upon.
“My role as the Marussia F1 Team Official Reserve Driver means that I will be asked to step up and also step down at times. I’m confident in myself, my abilities and the responsibility to be fully prepared to do what the team needs from me.
“Driving the MR03 in this morning's Free Practice session was extremely positive, despite the small technical challenges which affected the overall pace. It was great to get a session in the car and I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel again very soon.”
John Booth, Team Principal - “I have been following Alexander since his early junior formula days and I’m proud to have him in our car and on our team. Alexander acquitted himself incredibly well today to the MR03 and its systems. Despite a few system glitches that held back his overall lap time he had a very good practice session and helped the team prepare for FP2.
“He conducted himself really well today, on and off track. I have huge respect for Alexander and he's done a tremendous job. It's not the first time he’s been in a Formula 1 car and it certainly won’t be his last. That I am sure.”