Alexander Rossi to make Formula 1 Free Practice Debut Friday with Caterham in Barcelona
Alexander Rossi to Drive in Formula 1™ Free Practice at 2012 Spanish Grand Prix
10 May 2012 – Barcelona, Spain
In his capacity as Official Test Driver for the Caterham F1 Team, American driver Alexander Rossi will drive in the first Free Practice session of the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix on Friday; on this occasion replacing the team's racing driver Heikki Kovalainen. Alexander will be the first American driver since Scott Speed in 2007 to take to an F1 track during an official round of the pinnacle of motorsport, the FIA Formula 1™ World Championship.
The most senior member of the Caterham F1 Team Driver Development Programme since 2011, Alexander's F1 role as Official Test Driver will see him participate in a number of Free Practice sessions in 2012, helping him to gain further experience at the highest level of global motorsport and further embedding him within the Caterham F1 Team, progressing toward his goal of a full-time Formula 1 race seat.
Alexander Rossi, Official Test Driver, Caterham F1 Team
"I am really looking forward to getting back into the Caterham F1 car this weekend on a circuit I know very well. This will be my first Friday drive and first time in the CT01 chassis. I want to thank Tony Fernandes and the whole team for the chance to run in FP1 in Barcelona. My goal to be in Formula 1 is one step closer after being signed as Official Test Driver for the Caterham F1 Team and I want to thank them for their trust and long term commitment to my career once again. I have a clear goal for the practice session - make sure I run to the plan set by the engineers, not make any mistakes and learn as much as I can over the whole weekend as I take the next step in my career."
Mark Smith, Technical Director Caterham F1 Team
"The Circuit de Catalunya is a track every team knows extremely well. We have already tested there twice this year as the layout gives the cars a good test of most of the track conditions we see throughout the season - fast, high G corners, a long straight and a number of slower speed corners where good traction is key. It is also one of the more technically demanding tracks for the drivers and offers a bit of everything. We will be giving our Test Driver Alexander Rossi his first FP1 run with us in Barcelona and we are all looking forward to giving him the chance to work with us at a full race weekend. He did a good job in Abu Dhabi when we ran him in the young driver test in 2011 and I am sure he will perform well for us on Friday in Spain."
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group Chief Executive Officer
"We are all looking forward to seeing Alexander taking part in his first FP1 session for us on Friday in Barcelona. He already knows most of the team he will be working with from his run with us last year at the Abu Dhabi young driver test, so we are confident he will do a good job for us, continue to learn as much as he can and be a valuable addition to our Friday practice program."