Qualifying: Car #15 – Alexander Rossi – P1 – 1:48.931
Weather: Air temp 29˚C / Track Temp 30˚C – Dry
Alexander Rossi takes his first pole of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
The final qualifying of the 2013 GP2 season got underway at twilight in the sweltering Abu Dhabi heat and the stage has been set for an action packed finale.
Alexander set the early pace and despite a red flag interrupting the session he maintained momentum, just losing out on pole to Ericsson by 7000ths second on his final lap. A front row place was his but a steward’s enquiry awarded Alexander pole after Ericsson was penalized for exceeding track limits.
Alexander Rossi: “Pole position is an amazing result for me and the team. I am very relieved to get the monkey off my back as I haven’t had a pole for quite some time and unbelievably it was one of the most difficult sessions for managing traffic with every lap having an issue.
“The last pole of the year is a special one and going in to the off season I have the knowledge that we have the potential to be quickest. This is the next step but we are still looking for that win.
“The car is amazing this weekend and the team deserves everything we’ve achieved; now we just have to keep it together and aim for the top step of the podium tomorrow.”
GP2 Feature Race
Car #15 Alexander Rossi – P1
Race distance: 172.059 km
Race length: 31 laps / 60 mins
Circuit Length: 5.554 km
Tire use, Alexander: P Zero medium change rears pit to P Zero medium
Weather: Air temp 37˚C / track temp 47˚C – Dry
A delighted Alexander Rossi crossed the line to take his maiden GP2 victory after an action packed Feature Race at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi.
The win by no means was simple as Alexander lost the lead to Palmer into the first corner and with two safety cars it was difficult to gauge the tire strategies of the other front runners.
The risk to run on the medium compound prime tire from the start and only change the rears paid off and when Palmer pitted Alexander was asked to push hard – he responded with the fastest lap, allowing him to jump Palmer and take the lead.
The race became a little close for comfort after the second safety car but Alexander kept his head to take the first win. The team is overjoyed with their first win of the season. They have been getting closer and closer during the last few rounds and converting pole position to a win is a great reward for all their hard work.
Alexander Rossi “We finally did it – what can I say! The team did an amazing job and although the pit stop strategy was tricky we did the right thing changing just the rear tyres which meant we gained some time on Palmer.
“The second safety car was not great for us because the cars around me had changed to super-softs and we needed them to run out of rubber, but we held on and I am delighted with the win.
“At this point I feel we have a Championship winning car and I would like to thank everyone in the team for giving me this opportunity today.”