As Alexander Rossi prepares for his upcoming BMW/Sauber F1 test in Jerez, Spain, December 1-3, he joined the GP2 Main series at the final 2009 test at the famed Paul Ricard Circuit, November 10-12. Rossi originally slated to drive only the first day with DAMS and the third day with Piquet GP, was given the opportunity to take up a vacant seat on day two of the test when a driver for Piquet fell ill.

While perfection is something that is difficult to come by, it is necessary at times in GP2 series. This past week over the 3 days of testing, the time charts reflected the highly competitive nature of GP2, as often the top fifteen drivers were separated by merely half a second. The highly regarded premier feeder series into Formula 1, GP2 and Bridgestone have created a tire to have nearly identical characteristics to that of F1. This is by no mistake and is meant to prepare the next generation of F1 drivers for this important step as they learn to maximize the narrow window of the complex tire, often, the most critical element to putting in the penultimate lap in qualifying.

Rossi entered the Paul Ricard test with sights of perfecting his ability to maximize the highly sensitive Bridgestone’s, knowing this is a key element to his first F1 outing. With his F1 test only three weeks away, Rossi’s goal was to be more than ready to deliver the results expected of him.

“At this level of motorsport,” stated Rossi, “there is so much that goes into being able to find the maximum of the tire, as chances are you will only get one lap and one opportunity to string it all together. While many factors play a part in the ultimate lap, aside from race craft, I believe that fully understanding the tire is the most important aspect a driver must know. The Bridgestone this week gave me new meaning to the word ‘push’. I am just looking forward to being able to get into the BMW / Sauber and put all the key pieces together. This just further proves the fact that GP2 is really the best preparation any young driver can have before reaching F1.”

Most of the drivers at Paul Ricard experienced the difficulty of stringing a lap together at times due to traffic on the short test circuit, while optimizing the tire. In the highly competitive GP2 test, Rossi on Day 2 was just 4/10ths off the quickest time which placed him P10 in the morning, while 4/10ths placed him P14 in the afternoon, a very tight field indeed.

Rossi returned to Italy to continue his training regimen and final preparations for the F1 test. This test will be bittersweet as it will mark Alexander’s debut on the Formula 1 scene while being a sad departure of a fantastic manufacture from the sport.

“I know many of the drivers that will be at the Jerez official F1 test”, Rossi added. “This will be my first opportunity to introduce myself to Formula One. In motorsports an opportunity of this magnitude has far reaching potential and one I take very seriously. My goals for the test are to put in a fantastic performance while fully absorbing the whole experience. At the same time, however, I feel it is my duty to represent the BMW Sauber F1 team well at their last official test and I plan on delivering an excellent result, one which they can be proud of.”

Alexander Rossi will test for BMW-Sauber F1 Team, December 1 -3, Jerez, Spain.