|Rossi pleased with first result|
Alexander Rossi made his Formula 1 race debut and contributed to the Manor Marussia F1 Team's second best combined race result of the season in the 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. Rossi ended the grueling night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in 14th position, with his teammate Will Stevens crossing the line in 15th place.
The weekend began with a tough opening day of running on Friday, which saw track time shortened after a brief encounter with the unforgiving walls of the notoriously challenging street circuit. Despite the small set back, Rossi soon settled into the team and experienced a productive Free Practice 3 and Qualifying sessions under the spectacular Singapore lights.
Earlier on Saturday, Rossi had looked to have the edge on his more established teammate Will Stevens, the young Brit struggling to get to grips with the circuit in low-fuel trim and instead focusing on race preparation. As it turned out, the qualifying session became rather more of a shoot-out, with Rossi qualifying in 20th overall.
The scene was set for Sunday's race, with the unique circuit the backdrop for the American's debut Formula 1 race. Rossi's confidence has been steadily building since he took to the Singapore streets for the first time in Friday's opening free practice session, notwithstanding the fact that this track provides one of the most challenging initiations for any newcomer.
The unforgiving nature of the tight and twisty circuit, coupled with high temperatures and fierce humidity, are usually more than enough for any driver, but Rossi also had to contend with running the latter half of the race without radio communications to the team, which effectively meant that he was racing blind. Despite this, and the many incidents on track, Rossi was able to deliver a strong performance in his debut weekend, crossing the line in 14th and ending his first Formula 1 race with an extremely positive result.
"My Formula 1 debut has been a long time coming, and today has been pretty special," said Rossi.
|Rossi leads teammate Stevens|
"All the hard work to get here finally paid off and it was a fantastic feeling to be racing on the streets of Singapore in my first ever Grand Prix. It wasn't the most straight forward of races; I didn't get the best of starts, and as the procedure is quite new to me. I recovered quite well though and managed to get a good run into Turn 5, where I was able to get past my teammate.
"I'm quite pleased, the pace on both the Option and Prime Tires was really good throughout the race. Everything was going well until around the midpoint of the race, when I lost radio communications with pit wall. That was challenging because of the second Safety Car period and I wasn't able to receive instructions from the team about when to unlap myself, which may have cost us a position or more. Despite that, it was perfect end for a debut, I could not have asked for more.
"I'm very appreciative of all the effort put in by the team to make my Grand Prix debut a successful one.
Rossi will race for Manor again in Japan, the United States, Mexico and Brazil.