Rossi 4th quick in final 2010 GP2 test at Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (Nov. 29, 2010)--American Alexander Rossi put together the fourth fastest lap of the two-day GP2 test in Sunday's final session, driving Racing Engineering's Dallara GP2/08 around the 3.45-mile (5.5-km) Yas Marina Circuit in 1:47.280.
Rossi, of Nevada City, Calif., was only .142-second slower than Michael Herck's test-topping 1:47.138, also done Sunday afternoon. Rossi was the fastest rookie in the test, which concluded on-track activity for GP2 until next year.
"We worked this morning on finding a good balance with the car," Rossi said. "We had a couple of issues, but overall the car was very good at the end. I'm happy with the progression of the day. Obviously, you want to be P1, but there are a lot of factors and variables that take place for this to happen in an ultra competitive series."
Teams were limited to two sets of Bridgestone tires for each day in the test and they are at their peak performance for one lap on the lengthy Yas Marina Circuit.
"The car itself is not so tricky to drive," Rossi said. "The difficult part is maximizing the Bridgestone tire. They have a very small window for maximizing performance and achieving the maximum lap. Timing this tire window coupled with traffic is very important to understand. In GP2 qualifying up front is half the battle. Putting that type of lap together is not an easy task."
Rossi had the eighth-best time in Sunday morning's session at 1:48.340.
"I was quite happy with the way we (with Racing Engineering) worked together and the steps we made," Rossi said. "It was a very positive day and, hopefully, something can be worked out for the future."
Racing Engineering President Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon was impressed by Rossi.
"This was a very good day of testing, I'm surprised by this young talent," de Orleans-Borbon said. "Alexander is for sure one of the contenders for the 2011 season. It was a pleasure for Racing Engineering to work with Alexander and the results how that this combination works well."
The 19-year-old Rossi drove for Arden International in Saturday's test. He was 13th at 1:48.703 in the morning and 14th at 1:48.425 in the afternoon.
"It was a good day," Rossi said. "Arden was fantastic to work with and I was quite comfortable with the whole team. We were missing a bit of pace but the times were not a true representation of our pace. The car was a top seven or eight, no problem but I found traffic in sector three, three laps in a row, losing the maximum tire window for that set of tires."
Rossi concluded a very successful year with the GP2 test at Abu Dhabi. He won two races and finished fourth in GP3 Championship. Rossi also scored points in four of eight GP2 Asia's 2009-10 season and concluded the season with the most overtakes, at 68.
"This was a good two days in Abu Dhabi, evaluating two very respected teams and myself in the car," Rossi said. "We accomplished what was planned for the test, along with building good relationships. We showed well and now we need to decide the right fit and finalize sponsorship."
In October, Rossi tested four days with the seven-time winning ISR Racing World Series by Renault 3.5 team, with the fastest time on the second day at Motorland Aragon and second fastest at the Catalunya Circuit in Spain.
Rossi's ambition is to be the next American in Formula 1. GP2 is F1's top development series and World Series by Renault 3.5 is a viable alternative. He will work to find a team to drive for in one of those series next year in the next couple of months.
For now, Rossi is headed home to California for a nice holiday break, meetings with sponsors and winter training program preparing for 2011.
"It will be the first time I've been home since August," Rossi said. "It will be quite nice spending time at home for the holiday's and training with my hometown trainer."