Rossi Debuts and Learns Monaco in World Series by Renault Monte Carlo, Monaco - May 17, 2010 - Spanish Grand Prix GP3 race winner, Alexander Rossi, made his World Series by Renault (WSR) debut in Monaco this weekend for the Czech Republic-based...
Rossi Debuts and Learns Monaco in World Series by Renault
Monte Carlo, Monaco - May 17, 2010 - Spanish Grand Prix GP3 race winner, Alexander Rossi, made his World Series by Renault (WSR) debut in Monaco this weekend for the Czech Republic-based ISR team.
Rossi took to the streets of Monte-Carlo quickly, posting the 3rd fast time during Thursday's free practice and leading most of Saturday's qualifying session. With five minutes still left on the clock, Rossi, always looking for more time, lost the rear of the car in Massenet (Turn 3), ending his qualifying session in the barriers and bringing out a short red flag period. As the final minutes ticked away, Rossi's time slipped to 3rd.
Post session he would be relegated to a 5th place start for Sunday's race, as sporting rules remove driver's quickest lap for causing a red flag incident.
"It's very important for me to know Monaco, and the only way is to race it" said Alexander. "This was a fantastic opportunity for me to race for ISR in World Series for the first time. Near the end of qualifying it was important for me to continue to find more time. It was my mistake; the track was just not ready. I carried too much speed on entry and was a little bit off line. There was no grip and it came around really fast, there was no saving it."
Sunday's race saw the front of the field with clean launches as everyone maintained their starting positions. Monaco, traditionally a difficult circuit to overtake, found Rossi holding station in 5th position, while applying pressure to Stefano Colleti (4th). With half the race distance complete, Alexander battled overheating tires and brakes. As the race was approaching the final laps, Rossi now had pressure from Brendon Hartley. While defending his position, the tires and brakes had no time for cooling. Pushing had to maintain a competitive pace, his race ended on lap 22 at turn in of Massenet corner, as Rossi's car slid into the barriers.
"I was able to manage tire temperatures following Colleti, but it became increasingly difficult around lap 17 once I was pressured from behind", Rossi added. "In the race Hartley had more pace than everyone and once my tires overheated I could not cool them down. The car began to slide the more I changed directions and degradation happened very rapidly. On lap 22, I carried the same speed into turn 3 as the previous lap, but this time I was a passenger. There is no margin for error or forgiveness in Monaco. I am happy I learned the circuit and with the pace we showed in qualifying. I appreciate the opportunity afforded by ISR."
Rossi with ISR engineer, Peter Barry, Monaco - Image by Jeroen Vermeeren
"I'm delighted to have Alexander drive for us again", added ISR Team Principal, Igor Salaquarda. "Obviously circuit knowledge is very important at Monaco; this is a good thing for Alexander. He is very talented, pushed hard this weekend and has a great future in motorsport. During the race his tires and brakes overheated too fast and once he came under pressure from behind he could not cool them down enough. We very much look forward to having Alexander race for us again, hopefully at some future WSR races."
Alexander Rossi won the 2008 Formula BMW Americas and World Championships. In 2009, he moved to Europe, winning three races for ISR in the International Formula Masters series, including the support event for the Belgian Grand Prix. In his debut for ART Grand Prix in Barcelona two weeks ago, he drove from the back of the grid to finish eighth in the Saturday race and then won from the pole on Sunday, setting fastest lap.
This past December, Alexander tested with the BMW Sauber F1 Team at Circuito Jerez, completing 365 km and qualifying for his FIA Super License. Rossi aims to be the next American to race in F1, and currently resides in Italy where he trains regularly with F1 physio, Beppe Sebastiani.