Alexander RossiFive days after winning a Formula One support race at Spa-Francorchamps, Alexander Rossi was back on-track at Oscherslaben for rounds 13 and 14 of the International Formula Masters series. The 17-year-old from Nevada City, California, had never previously raced at the 2.28-mile track in Northern Germany.

“The weekend started well,” says Alexander. “I was second quickest in the opening practice session on heavy fuel and used tires, so I was confident to be competitive in qualifying and the race. Qualifying is always important in racing, especially at Oschersleben, it is quite narrow and twisty making it difficult to overtake. It reminds me of a big go-kart track.”

Rossi’s ISR Racing Team improved their cars performance over curbs, which there were many at Oscherslaben, and the results were positive. Alexander qualified third, 0.3s shy of pole position. In qualifying Rossi stayed out additional laps than anticipated and in closing laps of the session, when lightest on fuel his Tattus / Honda misfired from lack of fuel pressure.

“I really wanted pole position,” says Alexander, “and I thought this strategy was a risk worth taking. Unfortunately, we were just a bit too low on fuel and the engine misfired through three corners on my final and fastest lap. Without that, I think we had pole. The whole ISR team gave me a great race car all weekend, I was very happy with it.”

From third on the grid, Alexander made a great start in race one to challenge Fabio Leimer for the lead at Turn 1. Rossi looking to overtake the lead, he opened up radius which allowed Sergey Afanasiev and Erik Janis to pass, dropping Alexander to fourth place.

“In 49 laps of racing during the weekend the end result could have been better, but some weekends just go that way,” says Alexander. “There were just two overtaking moves during both Formula Master races, that is how difficult it was to pass at Oschersleben. I was very happy with my speed and sector times in traffic, however overtaking is another story unless the driver in front make a mistake. Both Erik and Sergey drove great ”

The reverse grid for race two saw Alexander start from fifth place on the grid and, once again, he made a clean get-away. He was pushed onto the grass at the exit of Turn 2 by Afanasiev and dropped back to seventh, which once again was the finishing order ot the 21 lap race.

“I’m not upset with Sergey for putting me out on the grass,” says Alexander, “He did the right thing and gave me no room. I was vulnerable on the outside, but I was not about to give him the corner, that’s racing. My only regret from the weekend is that I didn’t settle for second place at the start of race one, instead of challenging Leimer for the lead at Turn 1 and coming off second-best. Hindsight a great thing and I have learned a lot about Oschersleben.”

Alexander now lies fifth in the overall championship table, 14 points away from Afanasiev in second place.

With only two races remaining it is still possible to take second in the overall championship and the rookie title. “I will be pushing in Imola to make it happen and look forward to challenge,” Rossi commented.

Germany behind him, Alexander is already focused on tasks ahead, leaving for Italy immediately after race to prepare with his trainer Beppe Sebastiani. Alexander is training 5-6 days a week preparing for final International Formula Master rounds in Imola, fall testing plans and F1 test with BMW / Sauber, December 1 – 3rd.

“My training with Beppe is very rigorous,” says Alexander. “I want to be as physically prepared as possible for my BMW Sauber Formula One test at the beginning of December, I am leaving no stone unturned.”

Next up for International Formula Master are Rounds 15 and 16 at Circuit Imola, Italy, September 18 -20th. Live coverage to found on Eurosport TV and Live streaming at www.formulamaster.net.

Photo by Dawn Rossi, Team Rossi Motorsports