Caterham driver ready to move on to Montreal duties
Following a successful morning Monte Carlo GP2 practice, American Alexander Rossi was first out on track for EQ8 Caterham Racing in split group ‘A’ for qualifying. His early pace was promising as he went second fastest but unfortunately heavy tyre graining prevented him from a optimal lap time, ending the session sixth fastest with a time of 1:22.146 and starting the feature race in eleventh position.
After a clean start for the feature race and Alexander running in 9th, a red flag on lap 12 stopped the race for 45 minutes due to a multiple car clean up in Loews hairpin. With 30 laps remaining Alexander made a great re-start from ninth but misfortune struck again, being forced by race stewards to make a compulsory drive through penalty for an overtaking move he made on Daniel Abt at the hairpin a couple of laps before the red flag. After serving the drive through penalty, Alexander was fighting for eighteenth position, posting the second fastest lap of race and finishing in sixteenth position.
For Saturday's sprint race, Alexander again made a blistering start, gaining four places off the line and after one more overtaking move he maintained 11th place to the flag, in a relatively processional race with Monte Carlo being notoriously difficult to overtake.
Following circumstances in Monaco that kept Alexander from scoring points, he will now focus on his reserve duties and free practice for the Caterham F1 team in Montreal, June 6th.
Said Rossi: “A weekend full of circumstances left me without points again. It’s never ideal to be in the first qualifying group in Monaco with the track evolving all the time. We were obviously missing a lot in qualifying compared to pole and unfortunately heavy tyre graining cost me a lot on my quick lap in sector three. I was not happy starting 11th, as this is not acceptable to me.
"My start was good for feature race. I was up to tenth and made a pass on Daniel Abt for ninth into the hairpin. Daniel tried to stay with me on the outside, which is not possible at Loews and he hit the wall. I was given a drive through penalty for the overtake move, which I completely disagreed with but I took it. The hairpin is the slowest corner on the race calendar and a proper place to overtake in Monaco. I'm not sure why Daniel thought he’d make it through there racing me on the outside, it’s just not possible.
"The drive through pretty much ruined my race weekend otherwise we were on target for potential top five finish. This was our goal after qualifying and would have positioned me well for the sprint race. The good news is, the car worked well for the race and we had the second fastest lap by one tenth despite never being in clean air.
"For the Sprint Race, I got a pretty mega start moving from 16th to 12th on the first lap and by lap three I was 11th. Then everything settled down into a typical Monaco fashion with very little overtaking.
"This is not the start of the season that myself or the team would have predicted. I look forward to scoring points in Austria next month. In the meantime, I’m focused on my Caterham F1 duties for Montreal Free Practice in two weeks."