|19-year old Alexander Rossi|
A tough day today for Meritus' Alexander Rossi from America who had to prematurely retire from today's GP2 Asia sprint race in Bahrain.
On top of scoring no point this weekend, Rossi was handed a ten grid position penalty by the Marshalls after he was found guilty of forcing Ocean's Fabio Leimer off the track during the early stages of today's event.
This penalty will be effective next feature race in Bahrain where the last round of the third GP2 Asia Series will take place in two weeks, alongside Formula One's season opener.
"I had a great start and dashed from the back up a good number of positions," said Rossi. "Then on the third lap I touched Will Bratt and that was the end of my race on lap three – a racing accident that has been investigated by the Stewarts of the race after the event and that will cost me a ten grid position drop for next race. I am sorry for the team, and the engineers because I had a good car."
|Alexander Rossi (USA, Meritus) leads Jules Bianchi (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Sam Bird (GBR, ART Grand Prix)|
Too bad about Rossi not finishing as he was on a real charge. Starting 24th and last, he had raced up to 12th before the incident that took him off. This guy knows how to race. Leimer brake tested him on the straight while the two were dicing and he clipped his front wing on Leimer's car, breaking it and causing him to slide into the back of Will Bratt in the Coloni car as he couldn't stop. The penalty seems a bit harsh given some of the wheel banging that goes on in GP2 – a lot worse goes unpenalized! It was great to see real driving out there. Best show of the race.
Rossi was flying, it is real shame to get penalized for fighting as hard as was. He picked up 12 spots from the back in 2 laps and on pace for points, maybe podium. And we are not talking about mediocre drivers here, we are talking about GP2 where any one of the drivers could compete in F1, GP2 being the stepping stone into F1. Yesterday he set fastest lap in the race before retiring and some say Rossi is the fastest driver in GP2 and he's still a rookie! America should be proud to have this youngster racing in Europe. He is the real deal. We predict he will make it to F1 and is probably America's next best hope to win an F1 title.