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Alexander RossiCaterham F1 Team and Caterham Racing have confirmed Alexander Rossi for 2014.

Alexander Rossi renews his GP2 challenge with Caterham Racing after finishing the 2013 season as best rookie, he will start the new season as a serious championship contender. He will combine his GP2 commitments with another year as a Reserve Driver for Caterham F1 Team at all non-GP2 race weekends, continuing his development towards an ultimate race drive in Formula One.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal and CEO, Caterham F1 Team: “In GP2 we want to be competing for race wins and titles from the first race. Alexander showed last year that he’s ready to make a push for the championship, and we’re continuing his F1 development in 2014 by combining his GP2 commitments with another year as an F1 team Reserve Driver. I firmly believe he has the talent to achieve the ambitious targets we are setting him and I’m excited about seeing him fulfil his potential in GP2 this year. We are excited about adding more to Caterham Racing’s already crowded trophy cabinet and use that as a benchmark for the F1 team!”

Alexander Rossi: “I am pleased to be back with EQ8 Caterham Racing for 2014 fighting for a GP2 Championship. My 2013 program had some changes which meant I missed the pre-season tests and a couple of the early GP2 races, however, throughout the season the team and I made some big progress and by Abu Dhabi we were definitely one of the cars to beat. This continued in the post-season tests and I’m quite confident about the pace in 2014.

“As returning Caterham F1 Team Reserve Driver my duties will continue with F1 outings, simulator driver and on track Reserve for non-GP2 weekends. This is the perfect development for my future F1 race drive as I play an important role in assisting the team develop its 2014 car, something that will be particularly important this year with the current technical changes.

“I have to thank everyone involved at Caterham and Team Rossi for making this happen. We have a fantastic chance to win the GP2 title in 2014, while the F1 team achieves its goals of moving forward. This is an important era for all of us, as the sport enters a new generation. What a great way to start 2014!”

Mia Sharizman, EQ8 Caterham Racing Team PrincipaI: “I am delighted to announce that Alexander will continue with us into 2014. This announcement also means that we can focus on our 2014 preparations much earlier than we have been able to in previous years. Our team has undergone a number of changes since the end of the 2013 season which we believe gives us the capability to have our best season to date, and to build on our previous Championship results.”

“Our plan for Alexander in 2014 is part of a two year GP2 programme. After finishing 2013 as top rookie it is now time for him to mount a challenge for the Championship, and with the experience he has gained and the increased support he will have in 2014, I believe that the Championship is a realistic target.”

Alexander RossiAlexander Rossi made an impressive start to his GP2 campaign with Caterham Racing, finishing the Bahrain GP2 feature race in third position, scoring 15 points and taking seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am absolutely delighted with today’s result. These are the first points for the team this season and we are very pleased to have Alexander back in the car. Third place in his first race is a great boost for everyone in the team.

“With Alexander starting 6th and Sergio 20th for Sunday’s sprint race there is no reason why we should not score more points.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “I am chuffed for Alexander and all of the team, especially James who engineers his car and who did a great job today with a driver who clearly has great promise. All in all this has been the best day for Caterham Racing by a long way this season and we are just so pleased for Alexander – the comeback kid!

Alexander Rossi: “Today was a great result for my GP2 series debut and Caterham Racing. I could not have asked for more than a podium and now we can build on that for tomorrow’s race and the remainder of the season.

“I grabbed two places on the first lap, running fifth up to the pit stop. The guys did a great job and I rejoined the track third on the road, balancing not to push too hard while looking after the tyres to the end of the race. Nasr was closing fast behind me at the end, but I had enough to hold him off and keep him behind me.

“It was obviously not ideal to miss winter testing and the first round of the Championship, however I’ve made very few changes to the car all weekend. James my engineer gave me a great baseline and racecar, which I capitalised on today. It’s important for me to build on this and I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Cyril Abiteboul and Caterham Racing Team Principal Mia Sharizman for having faith in me and giving me the chance to show what I can do.”

“Caterham Racing is a great team and I feel very comfortable with all the guys. Tomorrow will be calmer for me and starting fifth on the grid I can go out, enjoy the race and hopefully get on the podium again.”

The GP2 sprint race in Bahrain started at 1050 local time and did not disappoint, providing a constant stream of overtaking and wheel to wheel racing for the crowd.

Alexander made a good start from the third row of the grid following his podium in the Saturday feature race but it was three abreast into the first corner and a tap to the rear turned him around forcing oncoming traffic to make contact with his front wing. He made it back to the pits where a new nose was fitted and the suspension was checked. Rejoining the race in last place he put in some stunning lap times, catching and overtaking two cars at the back of the pack and finishing 20th..

Team Principal Mia Sharizman “Overall I am happy with the race weekend here in Bahrain and we have made many improvements and gains since the first race in Malaysia. It looks like we have turned a corner and all credit to the boys for their great work this weekend. It is never easy for the engineers or mechanics to have a new driver stepping into the car just a few days before a race weekend but Alexander and James have worked very well together.

“We now move on from Bahrain in the knowledge that we have a good baseline for the car and we hope to repeat our good form in Barcelona. There is a long season ahead and now we have moved up in the Championship standings we look onwards and upwards.”

Team Manager Phill Spencer: “I am disappointed for Alexander today but the team did a great job to get him back out on track after checking the car and changing the nose. After his stop he was consistently one of the fastest cars on track and I feel confident that with better fortune we could have won the race.

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “We have mixed emotions following today’s race and we find ourselves thinking what could have been. Both drivers made very good starts but when Alex got tagged at the first corner and had to change his nose it was race over. After the pit stop he pushed hard and was flying, lapping quicker than the leaders and if it were not for the incident he looked good for another podium.

Alexander Rossi “My start was very good, I managed to overtake the row in front of me. Into turn one I went to the outside to brake on the racing line and was hit from behind. This put me sideways and another car drove over my front wing. I had to pit for a nose change, which pretty much put an end to my race.

“I made the decision to treat the remainder of the race as a test with the main aim to understand how the tyres work in these conditions, which turned out to be very positive. My tyre degradation was low and I was able to maintain a quick pace throughout the 25 laps.

“Going to Barcelona I think we have a very good race car. We’ll make small improvements to our qualifying car and after this weekend I have a better understanding of the tyres. There is no reason why we can’t go for a win in Barcelona.

“My GP2 Championship debut has been very positive, the team have done a fantastic job throughout and I would like to thank all of the guys for their hard work.”

Alexander RossiCaterham Racing Driver, Alexander Rossi enjoyed a successful Official GP2 test in Barcelona. Variable conditions around the 4,655 km Circuit de Catalunya allowed for a good test in both the wet and dry.

The morning session of Day 1, Rossi completed over 20 laps on one set of new tires, providing valuable insight into the handling and tire degradation of the GP2 car. In the afternoon Rossi made excellent progress with the car, ending the day P5.

Alexander Rossi “It was great to get back in the GP2 car and work with the Caterham Racing team again. Having raced here a few weeks ago, I know my way around Barcelona. I spent the morning adjusting my driving style to suit the GP2 car, which reacts to input much differently than a World Series car. This afternoon we made big steps forward and finishing P5 in the final session leaves me feeling confident for tomorrow. The weather will most likely be different tomorrow with rain forecast, but this is a good opportunity for us to work on our wet set up.”

Day 2 of the Official GP2 test in Barcelona started slowly with only three drivers setting lap times in the first hour as torrential rain saturated the circuit creating treacherous conditions.

The rain abated a few hours into the session and both Alexander Rossi and Lucas Foresti ventured on track. Rossi adapted quickly to the wet conditions and after seven laps Rossi topped the times. The session became extremely competitive as the track dried with different drivers topping the timing screens every few seconds. The afternoon session started at 1pm and on a drying track. Rossi quickly set the pace on new tyres and topped the times for the majority of the session, remaining P1 at the flag with a time of 1:31.173.

Alexander Rossi “It was excellent to see the working relationship with the team on Day 2, as we developed the car in varying conditions. This was good experience for me to test the Pirelli wet and dry tires. We spent most of the morning trying different tire pressures in wet conditions, and in the afternoon the drying conditions allowed us to find the balance and pace on dry tires. It was a great test with Caterham Racing! I am very pleased to finish the afternoon with the fastest time and now looking forward to seeing what we can do in Jerez next month.”

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer “I am very pleased with the performance of both the drivers and the team today in tricky conditions. It is great to see Alexander at the top of the times. We have concluded a good test here in Barcelona with both dry and wet running and now look forward to Jerez in November.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “We are very happy with Alexander’s performance in both sessions and he worked extremely well with his engineer Patrick Coorey to achieve his times. It has been a very successful test and great experience in wet and dry conditions.”

Caterham Racing now look forward to the final outing of 2012 at the post season test in Jerez on 22nd/23rd November where Alexander Rossi returns to the GP2 driving seat.”

Alexander RossiThe Formula Renault 3.5 Series moved to Paul Ricard in France this weekend for the penultimate weekend of the 2012 championship. Alexander Rossi was in action with the Arden Caterham team, returning to the circuit on which he scored a race win in the series last year. This year proved difficult for the 21-year-old as he was hit on the opening lap of both races and suffered a problem in the pits in race two, which prevented his chances of a good race finish after two strong qualifying results.

Drivers headed out on Friday morning for the first of the weekend’s running in first practice. Alexander was immediately on the pace, setting the third fastest time. In a strong session during which he completed 15 laps of testing, he set his fastest lap in the dying moments to finish third fastest. In the afternoon’s second practice, Alexander flew to the top of the timesheets ten minutes into the session. He improved on his time several times throughout and hit the top spot again ten minutes from the end. He finished the session second quickest behind Kevin Magnussen.

Qualifying on Saturday morning was a wet affair after rain and thunderstorms hit the track before the session. It was a fast paced session with constantly changing positions as lap times dropped throughout as the track improved, until times dropped off towards the end as standing water cleared and the track became greasy. Alexander demonstrated strong pace by setting a fastest lap of 2:10.307 to line up on the third row of the grid from sixth for the afternoon’s race.

The race was also held in wet conditions. Alexander made a great start, fighting for third into the first corner. Unfortunately, he was hit from behind and the contact caused a left rear puncture. He was forced into the pits and emerged still on the lead lap, albeit at the back and well over a minute behind his nearest competitor. From thereon Alexander displayed great speed and, by the chequered flag after 21 laps, had closed to within 4.4s of Yann Cunha, who was racing ahead of him. He finished in 22nd position but recorded the fastest lap of the race by seventh tenths of a second.

Sunday’s second qualifying was held in dry conditions and Alexander was immediately on the pace. He hit the top spot ten minutes into the session and at the halfway point was third fastest. With all drivers on fresh rubber for the final seven minutes, lap times tumbled. Alex had made his way to fifth with a lap of 1:48.386, just under three tenths off pole, when there was a red flag 30 seconds before the end after Kevin Korjus stopped on track. With the session not restarted, Alex set himself up on the third row behind Jules Bianchi, Sam Bird, Nico Muller and Kevin Magnussen.

Starting on a wet track, Alexander made a solid start in race two, but was then tapped from behind into a spin on the first corner. He was able to continue but found himself in 25th spot. He set about moving up the grid and was in 13th by the time he made his compulsory pitstop on lap 11. Unfortunately in the pits he suffered a sticking front wheel, which extended his stop by around 15 seconds. Once all stops were complete, Alexander was in 16th place, demonstrating his speed, and crossed the line after 21 laps in that position.

Alexander Rossi: “This has been a tough season and this weekend was another dose of back luck, this time in the race versus qualifying in Hungary. It was great to show quick pace in all sessions over the weekend, as we knew the car was good enough to be at the front. Arden Caterham have done a great job with the car and the pace is there now, but being hit in turn one from third in both races this weekend did not allow us to translate that into a result. It’s really frustrating but we just have to go to Barcelona knowing that we have a good car and the lap time is there.”

Julian Rouse, Arden Caterham Team Manager: “It’s been a tough weekend for Alexander. Again following on from Hungary, he’s done a fantastic job all weekend and his speed has been really good in the wet and dry conditions in every session. But due to some really bad luck in both races on the opening laps meant that he was unable to capitalise on the speed that he has shown all weekend. However, we are positive going into Barcelona as the car seems to be consistently quick in all conditions and so, if the opportunity arises, Alexander will no doubt have a strong race weekend.”

Alexander RossiArden Caterham FR 3.5 driver, Alexander Rossi was denied the deserving results for World Series by Renault Round 7, after qualifying luck kept him starting each race from the top two rows. Like Silverstone for Round 6, the Banbury, England based team showed their pace was equal to more established FR 3.5 teams, competing at the sharp end in all sessions over the weekend.

Alexander Rossi was on pace in Friday practice, ending the day 5th quickest overall. Hungaroging is a relatively short circuit with lots of medium and high speed corners IS notorious for difficult qualifying with respect to potential traffic, making it very challenging for a driver to consistently complete a lap without being held up. For Race 1 qualifying, Rossi was on pace for front row start, up over .5 seconds in the first two sectors when encountered a gaggle of cars staging for their gap in sector three, thus forcing the Caterham F1 test driver to abort a blistering lap. Starting P8 for race one, Rossi and Sorenson fought for position most of the first lap, when Nico Muller slotted past them both with the race settling down shortly after that. Hungaroring also known for a difficult place to overtake and proved that again in race 1, as the race preceded to finish in a fairly tightly spaced procession, Rossi finishing 9th.

Rossi was not the only driver over the weekend to experience qualifying woes, but he was denied again in Race 2 qualifying. Rossi ended first stint (15 minutes in qualifying) P2 and only 1/10th off quick time. During the 2nd stint in qualifying and new tires, drivers attempt to find that elusive gap, slowing down to almost to a stop in the final sector, which is uncommon to most circuits. Rossi up in sector one and two and looking to have another 1st or 2nd row start had to abort for a second time over the weekend in sector three due to traffic, lining up P10 for race two.

Race two, Rossi had a good start and side by side with Jules Bianchi, fighting for position the better part of lap one. Rossi was finally able to capitalize on Bianchi, when he pitted for rear tires and found himself in clean air for three laps thereafter to put in the fastest lap of the race, at 1:30:778. Shortly thereafter Rossi caught up with Korjus, while quicker and placing pressure was never able to overtake, finishing in 8th position.

Saturday Qualifying One
Best time: 1:29:225
Qualifying Position: P8

Saturday Race One
Best time: 1:32:759
Finish position: P9

Sunday Qualifying Two
Best time: 1:28:729
Qualifying Position: P10

Sunday Race Two
Best time: 1:30:778 – FASTEST LAP OF THE RACE
Finish position: P8

Alexander Rossi – “Hungaroring is infamous for being a track that is very difficult to overtake on, so going into the weekend we knew how important qualifying was going to be. Based on our pace throughout the Silverstone weekend and Friday practice in Hungary, we knew that we could be challenging for the sharp end of the field. I had a great race car and thank the team, but unfortunately luck in qualifying was not on our side, as both qualifying runs were spoiled by traffic, with many cars waiting for gaps in the final sector, when I had to abort my lap. It is a characteristic of the track, but as we had the true potential to be in the top four in each session it was incredibly disappointing for everyone to finish qualifying in eighth position for race one and tenth for race two.”

“Saturday’s race was fairly anti-climatic, but Sunday was always going to be more intense as this is the mandatory pitstop race. The boys did a great job in the stop and we ended up coming home with the quickest lap of the race and picking up two positions, which shows the pace of the car. I think the team has done a fantastic job this weekend and I am very much looking forward to showing everyone what we can do at the next race in Paul Ricard. I won there last year and I will be looking to carry that sort of form through to the race in Paul Ricard in a couple weeks.

Julian Rouse, Arden Caterham Team Manager -”Alexander did a great job this weekend and his results don’t really reflect his performance and outright speed over the weekend. Both qualifying sessions were compromised by traffic, and with the Hungarian circuit being notoriously difficult to overtake on Alexander’s qualifying position made both races very tricky.

“However, this weekend has re-affirmed our belief that the team has made big steps forward and we look forward to a very competitive final two races.”

Next Round for World Series by Renault, FR 3.5 is Round 8, Paul Ricard, France – September 28th – 30th.

Alexander RossiA mixed weekend at Silverstone saw Arden Caterham’s Renault 3.5 driver Alexander Rossi fighting towards the top of the grid, demonstrating the progress that Alexander and the team have made over the recent summer break that puts them in position to fight for race wins throughout the rest of the season.

After a successful first qualifying session, which ended with Alexander P3, the team felt confident for the weekend ahead with a car that was consistently on the pace. In race on Alexander had a fantastic start to take the lead but the rain soon began to fall. Alexander and Arden Caterham chose to stay out for one more lap before pitting for wet tyres but unfortunately the weather deteriorated significantly, claiming a number of victims in race one with standing water at turn 7 forcing Alexander and eight other drivers off track and ending their races early.

Saturday Qualifying One
Best time: 1:57:571
Qualifying Position: P3

Saturday Race One
Best time: 2:08:667
Finish position: DNF

Sunday Qualifying Two
Best time: DNQ – Mechanical
Qualifying Position: P25

Sunday Race Two
Best time: 1:44:417
Finish position: P5

The impact left Alexander’s team with only a few hours to repair his car in time for the second qualifying session but despite their best efforts he Alexander was unable to take part in qualifying for race two, leaving him to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid in P25.

On Sunday Alexander drove an exceptional second race, gaining twenty positions and finishing in fifth place, securing ten more valuable points for his team.

Alexander Rossi: “On Friday we used a new engine after first practice and immediately found we were on the pace, ending the session three tenths off the leader. “Going into Saturday we were feeling very inspired and in a position to challenge for the front row in the first qualifying session. The morning qualifying was wet and we knew we had good pace in the wet and finishing third in qualifying and recording our second row two start since Monaco gave us great confidence for the weekend. For the race itself, the weather was dry as we lined up on the grid, but very variable as it started spitting rain as soon as the race began. Almost everyone was still on slicks as the track became increasingly wet on lap two and then at the start of lap three I took over the lead when Bianchi pitted for wets, however I was still able to find grip and pace on the dry line and using DRS the car felt great. The team and I decided to pit the following lap for wets if the weather deteriorated but when I arrived in turn 7 there was a massive amount of standing water, and under braking I hit a large puddle and eight other cars and I went off and into the barrier.

“This weekend the race format was different to normal with only four hours between Race One and Qualifying Two which meant that we were really pushed for time to get the car back up and running after the off. The team worked incredibly hard to get me out again, but we just didn’t have time and as I couldn’t take part in second qualifying I was then at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.”

“For Sunday’s race the pressure was sort of off. Starting from the back of the grid meant I’d have the chance to overtake as many cars as possible and have fun doing what I love. My opening laps were good and I passed quite a few cars, but I got held up in traffic around lap six which allowed some of the leaders to break away which was obviously a little frustrating. However, once I was in clear air I could push. I used quite a bit of DRS in the middle stint running quick laps, so the last ten minutes of the race I was running quite low on DRS and beginning to lose the tyres so my aim was just to maintain position. When the guys ahead started fighting I saw there may be opportunities and I waited for them to make mistakes, which they did, and I ended up crossing the line in fifth which is a good result all things considered.

“Overall the car was very good and the team has proven throughout the entire weekend that we have a quick race car in various conditions and can now challenge for wins in the final races of the season. It’s a huge relief to know we can go to Budapest with the potential to fight for race wins, and work our way back up in the championship.”

Julian Rouse, Sporting Director Arden Caterham:
“Following the mid-season private tests we were pleased with the results from Friday’s free practice and feel we’ve really made a big step forward with the car. Although Alexander’s engine needed replacing following the first session on Friday, he and the car performed well during the second session and it was good to have two cars in and around the top six of the grid.

“In qualifying we felt comfortable in all weather conditions and although it was wet, the session went well and Alexander was competitive throughout. He put together his best lap towards the end, which is particularly difficult to do on these tyres as they generally only last for one or two laps, so he did brilliantly to qualify third on the grid.

“Race One was frustrating due to the typically changeable weather conditions of Silverstone. Everyone started the race on slicks, however it began to rain just one lap into the race, which made strategy very difficult for all the teams. As a group we took a decision on tyres that we felt comfortable with at the time, however the weather conditions deteriorated very quickly, more than we had anticipated. Unfortunately Alexander found himself in a situation on track where the conditions were simply un-drivable and it’s a real shame as he was looking extremely competitive and leading the race – obviously this also meant that we were the first car to come across the standing water at turn seven.

“In the crash Alexander didn’t do too much damage to the car, but as he was hit by a number of other cars there was substantial damage to his gearbox and engine. Despite the best efforts of the team, and due to the fact we only had a few hours to turn the car around ahead of the second qualifying session, we were unable to fix the car in time and had no choice but to continue working and start from the back of the grid.

“Race Two was an excellent result for everyone and it was truly deserved for the team. We had both cars in the top five, regularly posting fastest lap times and that was extremely pleasing for everyone. Alexander drove an absolutely fantastic race, very measured but also very decisive when he needed to be and he took every opportunity given. To come from 25th to 5th is an absolutely outstanding achievement and it really shows that the team has made good progress with Alexander’s help and support. He now has a competitive car and the opportunity to really showcase his talents, exactly as he did in today’s race.”

Alexander RossiAlexander took a commanding win in the opening round of the series and came home in second position in race two at Motorland Aragon earlier this month. With a current total of 43 points and a 15 points lead over his nearest rival, Alexander now heads to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Rossi a past winner at Spa in 2009 Formula Masters and 2nd in 2010 GP3 Championship is no stranger to what’s considered by drivers and fans alike to be one of the most challenging race tracks in the world.

Alexander Rossi comments, “Coming off the opening rounds in Aragon a few weeks ago, I can confidently say that the team and I met our goals to open the season. However, we are still looking to improve a few key aspects of our overall performance to ensure that we can maintain this current momentum. I am very much looking forward to the event in Spa this week as it’s personally one of my favourite circuits and I have a good track record there in previous championships. The weather always plays a factor at Spa, but we feel that our wet set-up is on par with other teams, so we are relatively confident in that respect. Our focus this weekend remains the same as always, to win, but with the added pressure of coming in as Championship leaders, we cannot get complacent. We need to keep pushing, there’s a lot of work to do.”

Jamie Dye, Team Manager, Fortec Motorsport, concludes, “Alexander’s pace over the winter, and in race rounds 1 and 2 earlier this month, shows that he is one of the men to beat this season. We go to Spa this weekend leading the Drivers’ and Teams’ World Series by Renault Championships and will aim to take away maximum points once again. Spa is another circuit where we have a good set-up, so for the Fortec team our goal is to extend the lead in both points tables and keep up the fight at the business end of the grid. Good luck to our drivers and the team and we hope to see plenty of fans support in Spa.”

World Series by Renault rounds three and four, April 30th – May 1st, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

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.

Alexander RossiEighteen year old American, Alexander Rossi, showed his abilities this week at Circuito de Jerez, Spain for the first collective GP2 winter test. Rossi wasted no time transitioning to the 600 horsepower V8 Renault as the lone American returning to GP2 series since 2005.

Rossi, using the experience of the GP2 car as preparation for his BMW Sauber F1 test at Jerez taking place, December 1st – 3rd. Finishing his first day with Piquet GP, Alexander posted the 12th quickest lap of 25 drivers. The top 12 drivers were separated by only 1 second with many having much more GP2 experience than young Rossi.

On Thursday, Rossi drove for DAMS, the 2008 GP2 Asia Championship winners. Alexander finished a strong 9th overall, 7/10ths off the quickest time. In the morning session, Rossi was quickest in wet conditions until a hydraulic pump failure ruined the American’s chances to hold the top spot.

“Considering his very low racing experience, Alexander did a really great job”, Eric Boullier, DAMS – Team Principal. “He impressively outpaced the whole field in the morning in the wet conditions and show everybody a very strong speed during all the day. His car control is remarkable and he adapted very well to the 600hp-GP2 car driving. Last but not the least, he fitted nicely within the Dams team.”

“On Tuesday with Piquet GP, I learned so much about the complex Bridgestone tire and carbon brakes, which gave me a lot of confidence heading into my second opportunity to drive the car,” Rossi commented. “As I prepared for my F1 test, my goal over the two days was to learn as much as possible about the car and the circuit, which I feel I accomplished. On Thursday, I believe DAMS had the pace to be P1, however extrenuating circumstances prevented it from happening.”

“Getting a clean lap was very difficult at times due to repeated red flags and slower traffic, but this is a part of racing which everyone has to deal with,” Rossi added. “It was an honor and privilidge to drive for two highly respected teams and I believe we developed some strong relationships for the future. I am pleased with the results and found the GP2 car quite comfortable to drive.”

“Alexander learned the GP2 car very quickly”, commented Andrea Bergamini – Piquet GP – Managing Director. “In Jerez this past week, our team was impressed with Alexander’s ability. He is quick, precise and proved he’s ready for the transition to GP2. We would be delighted to run him in 2010.”

Team Rossi is currently in the midst of sponsorship acquisition and fall testing plans for Alexander. For 2010, many options have been presented and are now being assessed very carefully. It is the goal for Rossi to gain more experience in a GP2 car, before his BMW Sauber F1 test. If the opportunity becomes available, he will participate in the GP2 test at Paul Ricard, France – November 10 -12th.

Rossi has meetings the next couple of weeks in the United States, but will continue to reside and train in Pietrasanta, Italy while preparing for 2010.

Photo by Dawn Rossi – Team Rossi Motorsports

Alexander Rossi secured the International Formula Master Rookies’ Championship in dramatic style at Imola on Sunday, by winning a thrilling final race of the season. Alexander ended the season championship nine points clear in the rookies’ standings and fourth overall.

“My first season racing in Europe was something that I will never forget,” Alexander commented. “I came into the championship without any winter testing as well as a team change mid season, which caused some high moments, but just as many low moments throughout the year. However, what I learned and was able to experience is something that I will remember for the rest of my motorsport career. On top of this, finishing off the season with the rookie title and win number three was very rewarding and it just made me realize that one can never stop pushing in and out of the car even if the results are not always there.”

After crossing the line with what he believed was a 6th place qualifying effort, Alexander was shocked to learn that his on track performance was being reviewed. Later, he would be informed that he was to be given a questionable five-place grid penalty for using “too much road” on the exit of the famous corner Acque Minerali, thereby not “respecting the track boundaries.” Not allowing this to dissuade his focus, Alexander was motivated as he clawed his way back to the top of the order for the remainder of the weekend.

“I was obviously not satisfied with qualifying 6th, as the potential for the front row was there; however, we lost valuable time during my pit stop for the 2nd set of new tires,” Alexander said. “Additionally the stewards imposed a new rule immediately before qualifying, which was meant to prevent drivers from running four wheels over the white line on exit of Acque Minerali. I ran over the line and do not dispute that, but what was frustrated at the time given the fact that a large percentage of the field did the same thing. It is the quickest way through that corner and only myself and Josef Kral were penalized.”

As a result of the penalty, Alexander was relegated to 11th place on the grid for race one. This setback was certainly behind him as he drove a brilliantly aggressive race, overtaking six cars to finish 5th.

Alexander lined up fourth on the grid for race two. He had a brilliant start to the race overtaking two positions and was in second behind team-mate Erik Janis by the exit of Turn 1. For the next 11 laps, Alexander targeted a move for the lead but had to patiently wait for the right opportunity while withstanding pressure from Josef Kral in third place. Alexander overtook the lead on lap 12 with an amazing move to the inside entering the 2nd chicane Villeneuve. Once free from Janis, Alexander was immediately able to stretch a gap and received the chequered flag with a 1.7 second advantage ahead of Kral 2nd, Afanasiev 3rd and Janis 4th.

“Sunday’s race win was probably Alexander’s best drive of the season,” says ISR team principal Igor Salaquarda. “He was under pressure for a long time, but he didn’t make a single mistake for the whole race. It was a very good way for him to end the season because it proved what a good driver he is.”

While Imola was the final event of the International Formula Master 2009 Championship, Alexander has a commitment to participate in the GP2 Main Series Collective Tests at Jerez, Spain, October 6-8th and Paul Ricard, France, November 10- 12th. Rossi will use these tests to better prepare for his Formula One test with BMW Sauber also in Jerez, December 1st – 3rd.

Rossi is currently residing in Marina di Pietrasanta, Italy where he trains daily with Beppe Sebastiani, preparing for the tests mentioned above and the 2010 season. Rossi will have short holiday in December when he will come home to California.

“I am looking forward to my schedule for the next couple of months as the opportunities that have presented themselves are incredible,” Alexander commented. “I will be pushing very hard to do a good job in both the GP2 tests as well as the Formula One test. My fitness program is being increased all the time and I am very confident that I will be ready to maximize my potential in cars of such calibre.”