AUTO RACING: Rossi equals team’s best finish at US Grand Prix |

AUTO RACING: Rossi equals team’s best finish at US Grand Prix

Manor driver Alexander Rossi steers his car during qualifying for the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Formula 1 driver Alexander Rossi equaled the Manor Marussia F1 team’s best finish of the 2015 season Sunday, taking the checkered flag in 12th position after a very impressive drive in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

“It’s been a truly amazing week and to finish in 12th place today is incredibly exciting for me and the team,” Rossi, a Nevada City native, said. “I’m so proud to race well here in front of my home crowd and to equal the team’s best performance of the season in only my third Grand Prix.”

It has been said that every setback has a major comeback, and after a fraught few days for race-goers and TV audiences, the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix delivered a spectacular race Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton won the race and in the process clinched the overall Formula 1 Championship.

“It’s been a truly amazing week and to finish in 12th place today is incredibly exciting for me and the team,”Alexander Rossi

Leading up to the race, constant rain played a major role into every driver’s preparation.

Friday was met with good weather for ducks at the Circuit of The Americas; less good for Rossi and the Manor Marussia F1 Team, who were looking to get their 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend underway. With the exception of several rainless windows in the first morning free practice one session, the heavens were perpetually open for the first day of running. 

The Manor Marussia F1 Team drivers Rossi and Will Stevens completed just 24 laps between them, with Rossi ending the session in 18th place and Stevens in 19th. Throughout the afternoon the rain was relentless and the session was delayed indefinitely before finally being cancelled.

Saturday saw Rossi complete just 10 laps of free practice running before a torrential downpour put an end to any chance of a Saturday qualifying. Instead, the session was postponed until Sunday morning, which meant an action packed day ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

In a continuation of the wet weather experienced throughout three of the four sessions so far, qualifying took place early Sunday morning, leaving just 4 hours ahead of the race start to complete all the usual race preparation, engineering meetings and fan and VIP appearances. Despite the rain, Rossi put in a strong performance to qualify ahead of his team mate, and crossed the line in P18 with a time of 2:04:176s. Following the application of grid penalties, Rossi lined up to start the Grand Prix in 17th position.

As Sunday progressed, the weather began to break and a dry race looked set to be on the cards. As the lights went out, the opening lap was predictably scrappy and Rossi picked up a damaged front wing and also sustained a puncture to his right front tire. However, he was soon back out on track and settled in to the 56 lap race distance. Despite it being an eventful race, Rossi was able to keep a cool head, taking the flag in 12th place and finishing an extremely positive weekend at his home Grand Prix.

“I’m thrilled for Alexander, the team and the American fans in equal measure, as this is a fantastic result after a challenging weekend,” said Manor Marussia F1 Team Principal John Booth. “Today we saw Formula 1 racing at its absolute best. In the end this was easily the most exciting Grand Prix of the season and that’s exactly what Circuit of The Americas race-goers needed.”

Rossi will now head to the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix, where he will look to carry the momentum forward following a successful weekend in Austin.

“I’d like to thank the team and everyone who continues to support me in my career,” Rossi said. “I hope this is just the start of great things in Formula 1 for me.”

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