More on Alexander Rossi's commanding win in Spain
American Alexander Rossi drove a faultless race to take a commanding win in the opening round of the World Series by Renault at Motorland Aragon today.
Following a tightly contested qualifying session, the rookie driver lined his Fortec Motorsport car up on the grid in second place, just 0.02 seconds off the pole lap set by Wickens.
As the lights went green, Rossi had a bit of wheel spin off the grid but was able to maintain P2 as Wickens made a mistake heading into the first corner, which saw him drop to P3, while Move took P1.
Rossi spent the next 12 laps closed right up behind Move and looking for a way past. Rossi clearly with a quicker pace continued to attack race leader Move who was holding Rossi up and allowing Wickens to stay very close behind Rossi in 3rd.
Rossi was able to fend off Wickens, while at the same time continue to challenge Move for P1. At half distance of the race, Rossi had a nice run off the final corner on the front straight and moved to the inside of Move between the car and the pitwall. Wickens moved to the outside of Move which meant they were three abreast as they headed into turn one. Rossi was able to make this gutsy move stick with very little room between Move and the pitwall and took the race lead into turn 1.
The lightning pace of Rossi was immediately apparent as he pulled out twenty car lengths in a few corners. Lap after lap, Rossi continued to extend his lead and after 15 laps he was already 4.5 seconds ahead of Wickens, who had taken second place from Move.
|The podium (L to R) Robert Wickens (2nd), Alexander Rossi (1st) and Nelson Panciatici (3rd)|
Despite having a comfortable lead, Rossi continued to push hard and on the penultimate lap he set a lap time that was just three hundredths of a second off the lap record. He took the checkered flag 8.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival and, with it, 25 Championship points and the lead in the Championship.
“It’s a perfect start to my rookie season in World Series by Renault. I narrowly missed out on qualifying on pole but was able to make a decent start and hold my position. I knew I had a quicker pace than Move so it was a case of attacking hard, putting the pressure on and waiting for the right opportunity to overtake.” commented Alexander Rossi.
“Once I got past Move I was able to pull out a comfortable lead and was very pleased with how the race went. While I’m really happy to be taking 25 points from the first race, it is still early days in the Championship so now it’s a case of turning our focus to race two tomorrow. We’ve been so close to P1 in free practice and qualifying this weekend so our focus will be on securing pole for race two which would be a fantastic boost for the team. Race two is a pitstop race so we will be working hard on getting the perfect race strategy as it would be a dream start if I can make it two wins out of two;” continued Alexander Rossi.
“Alexander did a fantastic job for us today; we couldn’t have asked for more. At the last test in Paul Ricard we were doing a lot of work on race set up and were confident that we would be strong at this race. After a lap of the race it was clear to us that it would only be a matter of time before Alexander was able to get past Move and that he would then be able to open up a big gap as his pace was so strong. The team is very happy with Alexander’s result today as it’s taken the whole team a lot of hard work to get here. We now look ahead to tomorrow’s race and have every confidence that Alexander can give us a second win tomorrow;” commented Jamie Dye, Team Manager, Fortec Motorsport.