Asia: Abu Dhabi II: Meritus qualifying report

QI-Meritus targets top 8 and fastest lap in lead up to race 1 of Free practice: (20) Luca Filippi - 1.54.146 - 1st - 11 laps (21) Alexander Rossi - 1.55.077 - 8th - 11 laps Qualifying: (20) Luca Filippi- 1.54.121 - 22nd- 2 laps (Stop) (21)...

QI-Meritus targets top 8 and fastest lap in lead up to race 1 of

Free practice:
(20) Luca Filippi - 1.54.146 - 1st - 11 laps
(21) Alexander Rossi - 1.55.077 - 8th - 11 laps

(20) Luca Filippi- 1.54.121 - 22nd- 2 laps (Stop)
(21) Alexander Rossi - 5th - 1. 52.861 -

Thursday, February 04, 2010 - Asian motorsport ambassadors team's new line-up of Luca Filippi and rookie Alexander Rossi was announced at a recent press conference hosted in the presence of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, showing the team's strong Arabic roots through its Saudi partner, Chaiman Raad S. Abduljawad.

Despite a difficult day and high winds that brought sand everywhere into the car and onto the track, the two drivers, Italian Luca Filippi (20) and US Alexander Rossi (21) had a good start of the first practice session at Yas Marina circuit and finished the 30 minutes first practice with the best times of 1.54.446 for Filippi, the fastest after 11 laps and 1.55.077 in 8th position for Rossi, also having completed 11 laps respectively

In the qualifying session the two drivers had different fortunes but both will start from the back of the grid. The session started strongly for Luca Filippi. He looked like he was going to have a good chance of taking pole, but his efforts did not achieved intended results as an unexpected problem with the gearbox caused the car to stop.

Rookie Alexander Rossi (21) had a strong qualifying showing and finished fifth with 1.52.861. The American did not have time to celebrate his good result in today's qualifying session. A Stewards' decision lines him up beside his teammate on the back of the grid for race 1 tomorrow. During a pit stop, a mechanic adjusted the front- wing hole setting on one side to 17 and on the other side to a whole 18 which is not allowed - a simple human error.

The target for both drivers now is a top-eight result in race 1 as the top 8 finishers in race 1 have a reverse grid format for race 2.

Luca Filippi: "I arrived very motivated for qualifying. After the first free practice session run I must say everything looked good. But nothing went per the plan and we had no radio communication to start with. I thought I had a problem with engine losing power. My mechanics stripped the car and realized we have had a problem with the new gear purchased at the last event. Usually this component is has an expected life of 2000 kilometers and we have only driven 400 kilometers and all the teeth were stripped. I am very disappointed to start from the back of the grid and not to have been able to do a better qualifying."

Alexander Rossi : "I was pleased in the free practice session that placed me in the top ten and finishing 8th. I was even more pleased to have established that the car had a good pace in qualifying. However, the session was difficult with no radio with the team, and in the end, I did not know how many laps were left in the qualifying session. There was not that much traffic except in the last lap and we could work reasonably well and progress during the session. Half of me is frustrated because we could have been in the front row but we will start from the back.

Peter Thompson said: "We proved today that we had the pace. Unfortunately we had technical problems with Luca Filippi's car, and although it was a human error, it is simply unacceptable that we should make this error. The drivers now have a big task in tomorrow's race, but they believe that they have the car and the pace to aim for a top-8 result and, please God, we can target a podium for his Saturday race too."

Chairman Raad S. Abduljawad: "A pity because the drivers and the team have done a good job and set good times despite some reliability problems encountered with Luca Filippi's car.

-source: meritus

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Luca Filippi , Alexander Rossi