Just how good is Alexander Rossi?
Young American sensation Alexander Rossi, who already has F1 teams taking notice of his blinding speed, scored a resounding victory in the opening weekend of the new GP3 series in Barcelona on Sunday, May 9. After problems in qualifying on Saturday, Alexander started the feature race from 28th position (last row) for this inaugural, historic race start.
|Rossi (Center) on top step in Barcelona|
As the lights went out, the 18-year-old Californian immediately showed his class. In an incident-strewn opening lap, Alexander overtook 13 cars. Over the race distance, he worked his way up to finish eighth, carving the pack on the 4.655km (2.893m) Circuit de Catalunya.
Finishing 8th meant, starting from pole for Sunday’s sprint race – and Alexander maximized his opportunity. Rossi led the pack cleanly into Turn 1 and methodically pulled away from the field, winning by over 10 seconds. In easing his way to victory, he set fastest lap and the quickest lap of the GP3 weekend.
Standing in the center of the podium beneath the US flag, the 2008 Formula BMW America and World Champion could also reflect on a great opening GP3 weekend for his Paris-based ART Grand Prix team. The ART crew worked all night on Saturday preparing race cars for their first and historic GP3 victory.
“What a great day both for us and the team,” said Rossi. "We had a lot of ground to make up after failing to complete the qualifying session. After that, I just focused on making up lost ground. I enjoyed the race on Saturday afternoon, the car was great to drive. It was my goal to finish 8th or better and we accomplished that. On Sunday, my ART team gave me another great race car and owe them a big thank you for working all night, preparing my car."
“Alexander did a fantastic race today, starting from pole position and leading the whole race", said Nicolas Todt, co-owner of ART Grand Prix. "After a difficult qualifying, he reacted well in race one and did the job in race two. It’s a strong result for the team and for him. I’m sure more successes will come.”
|Rossi at apex of Turn 8, Circuit de Catalunya|
Rossi’s team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, finishing third in both Spanish races. Gutierrez currently lies 3rd in GP3 Championship with 10 points and Rossi 4th with 8 points.
The next round of the GP3 series takes place in Istanbul, Turkey, May 28, 29 and 30, alongside GP2 and Formula 1.
Just How Good is Rossi? From 106 formula car starts, 18-year old Alexander has netted 35 wins, 52 podiums, 32 poles and current win percentage of 35.00%. 2009 BMW / Sauber F1 Team, Jerez Spain Testing, 2009 International Formula Master Rookie Champion, 4th overall and 3 wins. 2008 Formula BMW World Final Winner and 2008 Formula BMW Americas Champion with 11 wins 10 poles and 11 fastest laps. Rossi holds Formula BMW America series record with 14 wins to his credit and 11 pole positions. 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship Alexander finished 3rd in overall in points with 3 wins and 5 podiums.