Recovering from Penalty - Rossi Carves the pack to Finish 5th in Bahrain Manama, Bahrain, March 17, 2010 Race One of the 2010 Formula 1 Championship season set the stage for the GP2 Asia closing rounds. MalaysiaQi MeritusMahara rookie driver, ...
Recovering from Penalty - Rossi Carves the pack to Finish 5th in Bahrain
Manama, Bahrain, March 17, 2010 Race One of the 2010 Formula 1 Championship season set the stage for the GP2 Asia closing rounds. MalaysiaQi MeritusMahara rookie driver, Alexander Rossi, ended his campaign on a charge, carving through the field during Sunday's sprint race to finish fifth, just 0.864s behind series champion Davide Valescchi.
"On Sunday the car was good to drive", commented Rossi. "We made some significant changes Saturday evening after race one, hoping to mitigate understeer and excessive tire degradation. The changes worked as the car balance really suited my driving style and for the first time the tires wore very well on a long run. I was quite happy, as we were finally able to show the pace and apply pressure the whole race. This is what we had been striving for. "
Although the GP2 Asia series was returning to the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), the newly designed circuit layout, created for Formula 1, was a first for all of the drivers. Usually quick to learn new circuits, Rossi wasted no time in free practice, finishing the session 4th overall and 7/100ths off of the quickest time.
In qualifying, Rossi completed the first stint and entered pit lane 5th. Struggling with handling problems after a pitlane adjustment, Rossi was unable to best his time previously posted, leaving him to fall to 10th on the timesheets. This coupled with the added 10 position grid penalty tacked on from the last event in Bahrain, the California native lined up 20th for the final feature race of the GP2 Asia 2009-2010 season.
With two days of racing, Rossi gained a total of fifteen positions, as Saturday's feature race saw a starting line-up of P20 and a finish of P11. While, Sunday's sprint race Rossi lined-up P11 and crossed the line P5.
"For a multitude of reasons, I started at the rear of the grid several times during this GP2 Asia series," Alexander smiled. "Fortunately, I enjoy racing and I'm very confident working my way through the pack. There is a lot of patience and strategy involved, and I believe I was able to put up good performances on track. At the same time starting toward the back is usually costly in points."
"I am thankful to Meritus for the opportunity that they have afforded me," Rossi commented. "The team had an outstanding closing weekend with Luca winning on Saturday and the pace that I had in Sunday's sprint race. Peter and Raad are great to work with and their commitment to the sport is unlike anything I have seen. The whole team has taught me an immense amount and will remain with me throughout my career."
"I'm currently fully focused on my GP3 campaign with ART Grand Prix. The first test went extremely well, with my goal to build on that at the end of the month. I am very prepared and it is important to maintain this momentum throughout the next couple pre-season tests."
Up next for Rossi, the 2nd official GP3 test at Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France, March 31st - April 1st.
-source: alexander rossi