Alexander Rossi wins Formula BMW World Final 2008 in Mexico.
Mexico City, 7th December 2008. Eurointernational's Alexander Rossi (US) is the winner of the fourth Formula BMW World Final. At the "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez" in Mexico City (MX) the 17-year-old crossed the line 0.655 seconds ahead of second-placed Rookie Michael Christensen (DK). Local hero Esteban Gutierrez (MX), Christensen's team-mate at Josef Kaufmann Racing, also made it onto the podium by finishing third. As a reward for his victory, Rossi will be given a drive in a BMW Sauber F1 Team race car.
BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, handed over the winner's trophy, and commented: "Congratulations to Alexander Rossi. We have seen great, clean racing over the course of the weekend. Again many talented young drivers were racing, and we have seen three of them on the podium. Alexander drove a fantastic race and passed one car after the other. He deserves his win, but Michael Christensen and Esteban Gutierrez can also look back on a strong weekend. I'm convinced that all three of them will have successful careers in international motor racing. Who knows, maybe they will knock on our door in Formula One in the future."
With his victory Rossi put the icing on the cake of what was a perfect season for him. Thanks to ten race wins - three of them secured in the support programme of Formula One events - he took the Formula BMW Americas title before adding another important success to his tally in Mexico. "This has been the sweetest victory of them all," said the young gun. "I coped well with the track from the first practice session and knew there would be a chance to win. However, then we experienced some ups and downs. The heats didn't go as I had hoped, so I had to start from fourth on the grid. My start was horrible, and I lost a position. But I remained positive and improved lap-by-lap. Once I was in the lead it was all about making no mistakes."
>From the sixth lap of the final race Rossi drove in the top three, after overtaking Ollie Millroy (GB/Motaworld Racing). On lap 10, he also got past Gutierrez, who lost the lead to Christensen at the start. Three laps later Rossi also passed the Dane - and drove home to a well-deserved victory. BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Rober Kubica (PL), who celebrated his 24th birthday in Mexico City on Sunday, was impressed with the performances of the 21 competitors. "It has been interesting watching the young drivers here," commented the Pole. "They have a lot of hard work ahead of them if they want to get to the top of the sport, but Formula BMW is a great series to start in. Congratulations to all the drivers, as we have seen four good races."
Christensen, who was in the lead for 12 laps, paid his respect to Rossi's magnificent drive. The Formula BMW Europe's Rookie Cup winner said: "I had a good final race, and I'm happy to be on the podium. In the end, my performance wasn't quite good enough to make it to the top step. Alex was simply too strong today." Gutierrez was feeling positive after his home event, despite failing to add a second victory to his Formula BMW Europe title. "This weekend was good fun," he said. "I had a lot of new experiences, and it was just great to feel the support of my fellow countrymen."
Rossi, however, can now look forward to drive his maiden Formula One kilometres. "The very thought of driving a Formula One car makes me speechless," he said. "Since I first saw Formula One, I have wanted to drive such a racing car. Now this dream becomes reality. When I watched last year's winner Philipp Eng driving here in Mexico, I envied him a lot. It gave me tremendous motivation to follow in his footsteps. And that's exactly what I did."
Following Marco Holzer (DE), Christian Vietoris (DE) and Philipp Eng (AT), Rossi is the first Formula BMW World Final winner not hailing from Europe. For Mario Theissen this is a positive sign in the development of Formula BMW. He said: "It's good to see a driver from America emerge as the winner this time. This proves that Formula BMW Americas is also very strong. I'm sure this result will help to make all three Formula BMW series even stronger."