|Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:34AM
July 3, 2012 – Nurburgring, Germany - Battling changeable weather and chasing a perfect set-up, Alexander Rossi fought through to a solid ninth-place finish in race two at the Nurburgring last weekend
Caterham F1 Test Driver and Arden Caterham WSR Driver Alexander Rossi was at the Nürburgring in Germany last weekend for the fourth round of the Formula Renault 3.5 series. It was a mixed weekend, with challenging weather conditions making life tough for the American and his team, although some last-minute set-up changes improved Alexander’s pace in the race.
“We went into Saturday qualifying quite confident with the car, however there were still various unknowns due to not having had a full dry practice session,” mentioned Alexander.
“After qualifying we realized we had been too aggressive with the set-up of the car and for the levels of grip available for the track, so we made some changes for the race which greatly improved the pace,” he added. “However, I did not expect to P20, and I knew it would be difficult to over unless it rained, as the ring is notoriously hard to overtake.”
Despite the difficulty the whole field had in overtaking, Alexander managed to move up the field to P18 by the chequered flag, and his good pace during race one gave both him and the team confidence for day three and the second qualifying session.
“Going into the second qualifying session, we took what we learned from race one and our pace was a bit better. Unfortunately, I caught traffic in sector 2 which cost me 6/10ths, placing me P16 for race two.”
“For the race itself we were hoping for rain as we knew we performed well under those conditions. Once the race got under way it immediately started to rain and it was a difficult call to make, when and if to pit for wet tyres. The rain then nearly stopped and a dry line appeared to be consistent, so we pitted for new rear slicks for our mandatory stop. Unfortunately, the rain came down again three laps later and we were forced to stop again and change to wets.
“Once we completed the pit stop the pace was good, and to finish ninth was a decent result. Despite that I obviously always want to win and as a team we have more to achieve.”
Julian Rouse, Arden Caterham Sporting Director: “Sunday’s race was very interesting! It was a difficult race where we had very changeable conditions which made calling the right strategy challenging and we started P16. Alexander made some good progress through the race and did a great job of dealing with the conditions and finished ninth, which is a good result considering the unpredictability of the race and where we started from.
“The whole team worked well this weekend. The pit stops were very good and everyone reacted well. Looking ahead to the next round, we need to work on our qualifying performance, but we’ve certainly made a big step forward from Spa and ultimately we come away from this weekend feeling positive.”
That next round will be in Moscow for the series first visit to Russia, on 13th -15th July. The event will take place at the brand new Moscow Raceway, some 90km west of the city.