Nurburgring, Germany — Plenty of on-track action at Nurburgring for the German Grand Prix saw Nevada City native Alexander Rossi keep a clean race weekend and once again show his talent for overtaking the field, despite continued efforts to improve car set up.
Understeer again compromised Rossi’s qualifying session, and although he managed to place his car clearly in the top 10 throughout the majority of the session, traffic caused problems in his final laps, pushing him back down to 14th to start the feature race.
In the feature race, another fantastic start for Rossi saw him rise to eighth place, but tire degradation and difficulties with car balance ultimately cost Rossi a top-five finish.
“We’ve been struggling with tires and car balance since practice the whole weekend,” Rossi said. “The first race result simply came down to tires for me. The car was working for the first 25 laps, but with six to go, we had nothing left, and all I could do was defend as best I could.”
Rossi used all his skills to defend his place towards the end of the race and finished in 11th.
“The main feature race was disappointing for me as I finished 11th despite once again having an excellent start,” Rossi said. “Although I qualified in 14th, I was immediately up to eighth by the first corner, and I thought with our good strategy we had a shot at reaching the top five.”
Rossi fared much better in the sprint race.
“In regard to the sprint race, I was optimistic, knowing that I could push hard to gain places,” Rossi said. “My start wasn’t amazing, but everyone struggled a little with less grip starting on the medium tire, and I maintained my position up to the first corner.”
Rossi closed the weekend in Germany with a sixth-place finish in the sprint race.
“When the battle came to us at the end of the race, I just kept my nose clean and chose my overtaking points carefully,” he said, “which worked well, and it is definitely a positive to finish sixth and score points for myself and the team.
“We still have some work to do on the car, but we have a result for all the hard work that everyone puts in. Focus will now turn to Hungary and trying to maximize the amount of points for the championship.”
Phill Spencer, Rossi’s team manager, said he was happy to be able to grab some points before leaving Nurburgring.
“Overall, I am quite pleased with the sprint race result, and scoring points is what we are here to do,” he said. “Alexander drove a fantastic race, and to both overtake and defend at the end was impressive, especially with Evans hot on his heels.
“We still have work to do, but we were always going to be on the back foot with Alexander missing the preseason testing. We understand the car with the new tires a lot better every race, and the team will work hard to make improvements.”
Round 7 of the GP2 Championship is July 26-28 in Budapest, Hungary.