American racer Alexander Rossi is all set for his first taste of Formula One action in 2013 at the Canadian Grand Prix next month.
Rossi is hoping to become the first full-time American F1 driver since Scott Speed in 2007, and a good showing during free practice for the race in Montreal could go a long way to making this a serious possibility.
“Returning to F1 action is obviously another important step in the plan I’ve worked over a decade for and I take all the opportunities I get very seriously,” Rossi said in a team statement. “This will be my first outing in the CT03 and on the 2013 Pirelli tires in F1 and it’s good that my 2013 F1 debut is on North American soil, in front of a crowd who are seriously passionate about F1 and really know what our sport is all about.”
A large number of American fans will be in Montreal for the weekend, which may act as an extra incentive for Rossi to perform. However, he is hoping to aid the team’s development of the CT03 car during his run-out.
“Even though FP1 sessions always seem to be over in the blink of an eye, it’ll be good to play an important part in the team’s work on track. This year for the F1 team I’ve done aero testing, simulation work and I drove at the team’s filming day, so this will be a good session for me to use what I learnt about the car in the sim and the aero tests as a comparison to help the team progress this weekend.
“It will be all about working to the run plan for the session and helping the team set the car up for the race drivers for the rest of the weekend.”
Rossi was due to represent the team during FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he was replaced at the last minute by Heikki Kovalainen who compared the CT03 to the 2012 car. Canada will mark Rossi’s second session at a grand prix weekend, having driven for the team during practice for the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, where he finished 21st out of 24 runners.