"There's a problem with the grooves of the wheel nuts," said Rossi. "They said 'Okay, there are all there, but the thickness is not enough.' How can you remove me for that? The rules say you cannot modify the wheel nuts. We're in the process of appealing. The pitstop was quick, but that's because in the private test at Snetterton last week we did, like, 60 of them, that's why they were a bit worn - they weren't modified. It is not a question of safety but they're saying it's a performance advantage. It's disappointing, but other than that it was a good race. The grooves were not compliant, but the amount of grooves was all there. Obviously there was a reason why they were looking at them because it was quick stop. I know the whole length of the pitstop process was 27 seconds and the next best was 29 seconds, so it was pretty impressive. It is a shame as we had closed to 20 points behind JEV [Jean-Eric Vergne, in second position in the points] and we had a good opportunity to catch him."
ISR teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon are promoted to second and third as a result of the decision. Autosport
Rossi, a rookie, was third on Saturday and then on Sunday finished just 2 seconds behind Wickens after starting 6th. Racing for the lowly Fortec team Rossi beat Daniel Ricciardo easily. Ricciardo finished third over 12 seconds behind Rossi after starting in front of him. Ricciardo is highly regarded in F1 circles and will be in F1 next year for certain.
Which means if Wickens and Rossi have the measure of Ricciardo, they will soon join Sergio Perez (Mexico) and maybe the highly regarded Esteban Guerreri (GP2 from Mexico) in F1, giving North America four drivers in F1 in about a year from now.
Robert Wickens: “The day got off to a strange start. I spent more than an hour in the traffic on the way to the circuit, so I missed ten minutes of the qualifying session. It’s been a perfect weekend, and we capped it off by winning the Teams title. I now have a good lead, but I still need to win races. I’m confident ahead of Paul Ricard HTTT, as everything went well for us on the circuit in collective testing over the winter.”
Alexander Rossi “The start of the race was average. I was defending position from Korjus and was much quicker than Berthon on the opening couple of laps, but in the middle of cars only a few tenths apart you just have to sit tight and make some clear air. The team called me in early and did an unbelievable pit stop; it made such a difference. When I came out in front of Daniel I knew that we were in a good position and I was almost able to get Robert as well. We have had a near perfect weekend in terms of results and it’s all looking good going in to the next round.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “It’s a good all-round result for the team this weekend. We suffered a bit more out there today. I was up with the pace of the Carlin drivers at the start, but I felt the car’s performance drop little by little. He had a good pitstop which allowed us to finish on the podium, but it was a defensive race for us. We’ve won a lot of points and we’re moving forward, but now we have to win.”