Rossi Maintains 2nd in GP3 Championship Silverstone, Great Britain - July 14, 2010 - Sunday in Silverstone, led to a dramatic ending for race two of the GP3 Series as Alexander Rossi returned to the podium, crossing the line in third place, 0.09...
Rossi Maintains 2nd in GP3 Championship
Silverstone, Great Britain - July 14, 2010 - Sunday in Silverstone, led to a dramatic ending for race two of the GP3 Series as Alexander Rossi returned to the podium, crossing the line in third place, 0.09 sec ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and just behind Mirko Bortolotti. Having finished Saturday's race also in the points with a fifth place finish, Rossi leaves the British Grand Prix second in the GP3 Series Drivers' Championship.
"After Valencia where a bit of bad luck prevented us from scoring any points, I was hoping to grab more than nine points in Silverstone. It is not enough," Rossi said. "The race weekend, I felt that we were going to be in a real position for pole and challenge more wins, but there was not enough speed."
"After Alexander's misfortunes in Valencia, he fought back and found his way back into the points and onto the podium in a very convincing manner. He is rewarded with second position in the championship," said Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, ART Grand Prix.
Friday's first session out, free practice, Rossi lost a bit of track time due to some pit lane adjustments, holding him back for about 4 laps. That afternoon, Rossi qualified 6th, only a tenth slower than the man in second place (Rio Haryanto) but a whole 6/10ths away from his ART team-mate and pole winner, Esteban Gutierrez.
"Obviously my P6 qualifying was disappointing," Rossi added. "With a tow from another car I believe a front row was possible. Without a tow that was virtually all the time I could find, the car balance was good, but something's missing. Esteban is in another league at the moment, 6/10ths is quite a lot."
Rossi's first race was effectively defined by his grid position, and by a curious problem with the steering. "Almost from the start, the car felt very strange," asserted Rossi. "In left-handers the steering was normal but on right-handers it was completely different. 1 One second it was light, almost finding a dead spot in the steering, and the next second it would return to a normal steering load. This would happen throughout the corners and while it took me a bit to adjust to it, we were able to still fight for position."
Alexander placed fifth in that Saturday race, earning him a (reverse) P4 grid slot for Sunday morning.
Having found the best set up for the car, Rossi made a good start for race two and was thinking of staying down the inside for Copse, but changed his mind as Bortolotti closed the door, flicking back to the racing line. "As it happened, this cost me momentum as we were four abreast going into Becketts, with Rob Wickens, Nico Muller and Tobias Hegewald, It got to be a bit tight at that point but I made it through and settled into the race."" Rossi said. "In hindsight I am wondering if the move down the inside would have worked, but in a split second sometimes you have to take the conservative alternative."
With one lap remaining, Rossi was able to catch the fight for second place between Gutierrez and Bortolotti. He immediately engaged Gutierrez, now fighting for third and the final podium position. Having a great battle, it was Rossi who came on top at the line, only a few 1000ths apart.
"It was great to finally get to race Esteban," Rossi added. "That was the first time we'd seen each other on track the whole season. That was the highlight of the weekend and I am glad that I won the battle, it was a great final lap. When you're racing your team- mate you have to make sure that you don't touch, but it can get a bit difficult when he is the person that you want to beat the most."
Rossi crossed the line in third place, 0.09 sec ahead of Gutierrez and just behind Bortolotti, who was later penalized for a move on Gutierrez on the final lap. The race win, from a front row start went to Canada's Daniel Morad.
Rossi 2nd in Championship with 26 points, to ART team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, who leads championship. The next rounds of the GP3 Championship takes place, July 23- 25 at Hockenheim, Germany, alongside GP2 and Formula 1.