The new Marussia F1 Team reserve driver Alexander Rossi take up a seat with Campos Racing, in place of Kimiya Sato for the last weekend.
The sixth round of the FIA GP2 Championship Series took place in Hockenheim, Germany, and saw American driver Alexander Rossi take up a seat with Campos Racing, in place of Kimiya Sato for the weekend.
Alexander was immediately at home with the new car in the Friday morning practice, finishing the session in 4th. For qualifying he ended the first tyre run P5, but his second run proved to be more difficult with traffic in sector three during each of his flying laps. Unable to improve on his second run, Alexander qualified 9th overall with a time of 1:23.965.
Saturday's race saw a clean start for Alexander, avoiding the stalled car of Tom Dillmann two rows in front of him. While fighting for position after the safety car, he was hit by Mitch Evans in the turn six hairpin. Alexander sustained very little damage to his car other than a broken steering rack, however this forced him to retire from the race.
With a wet circuit for Sunday’s race, both Alexander and Campos Racing knew the Sprint Race would be an opportunity for a good result from the back of the grid, where Alexander started 25th. After the warm up laps, Alexander gambled and opted for slick tyres on a wet track, with predictions of a drying circuit. Starting on slick tyres Alexander made a clean start and as the track dried out he began moving up the order, reaching 12th place at the halfway stage. As those on wet tyres had to pit, Alexander continued to rise through the field and drove a strong race to finish P7, bringing home valuable points for the team.
Alexander: “We started the weekend off pretty strong, being P4 in practice. I immediately felt comfortable in the car and with the team.
“I was not satisfied with 9th in qualifying. We had the pace for a top five position, but unfortunately traffic in sector three on my second tyre run limited this effort, and I had to abort my three flying laps. However, I knew the car was strong and starting 9th we still had a good opportunity for a podium.
“It was disappointing to be hit by Evans in turn six just after the safety car. It was another opportunity lost, ending my day with minor damage to the steering. I felt especially bad for everyone on the team who had worked so hard to give me this car.
“Starting from the back of the wet grid on Sunday, I made a good decision to start on slicks, plus the early safety car helped dry the circuit and buy us some time without losing valuable track position. Shortly after the safety car came in, the dry line became more usable and the times began to tumble, so it was definitely the correct strategy to run versus wet tyres. I was really pleased to finish in P7 and see some results for everyone on the team, and I'd like to extend my thanks to Adrian and the whole team for welcoming me.”
Adrian Campos: “It was a pleasure to have Alexander in our GP2 car last weekend. We were extremely impressed with how quickly he settled in, immediately showing his pace and talents.
“It was a mixed weekend with bad luck however it ended on a positive with Alexander’s drive on Sunday from 25th to 7th and grabbing a couple points. He was held up in qualifying due to traffic on his 2nd set of option tyres otherwise he would have qualified in the top five. The Feature Race was a shame; being hit by Evans after the safety car broke his steering rack, and ended his day early. I believe we had the potential to score points and perhaps a podium.
“Alexander showed his talent on Sunday, driving from the back of the grid with a wet circuit on slicks. Alexander drove incredibly well to finish in the points and we are delighted with his performance.”