Nevada County native, Caterham Racing driver in GP2 and Caterham F1 Team reserve driver Alexander Rossi, is ready for a championship fight in 2014.
The GP2 pre-season test got underway in the warm climate of Abu Dhabi March 11, and without usual European weather disruptions. The drivers took full advantage of this testing opportunity, running multiple programs and Pirelli tire compounds.
On Day 1, the morning session proved fruitful with Rossi trading fastest laps and ending the session in position 2. In the afternoon the team and Rossi completed their test schedule and full run program, trying different setups to understand the Pirelli tire, obtaining vital data for the season ahead.
“Our first day was a very good test for the team,” Rossi said. “We came here with a long test program list of setups to trial. This is always a fine balance and challenging to manage the limit and window of the Pirelli tire. From the first morning session we immediately saw that we had really good pace and from this we can take away a lot of positive gains.”
Day 2 opened well despite a rather unsettled session, halted by four red flags. Rossi never dropped outside the top ten throughout the morning.
The afternoon of Day 2 was about long race run simulations and further analysis of the Pirelli tires. This was especially good during the mid-afternoon heat wave. The team was very pleased with their overall race pace and achieved their engineering objectives, feeding back their thoughts and providing a clear comparison on the differing set-ups they had trialed throughout the day. The final day’s running began in less than optimal conditions and on a very sandy track. Rossi was able to run both the prime and option tire in the day’s sessions.
The team left the initial test very pleased with race pace and preparation for a championship fight, but believe there is still more to find from their qualifying pace.
Team spirits are very high as they leave for Bahrain test next and having completed 353 laps with both cars in the first test.
The GP2 Championship resumes testing Wednesday for the final pre-season test at Circuit Sakhir, Bahrain.