California driver Alexander Rossi ‘really interested’ in racing F1 for Gene Haas

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Gene Haas may still be sifting through potential drivers for his U.S.-based Formula One team that begins competing in 2016.

But one home-grown driver, 23-year-old Californian Alexander Rossi, is hoping to catch Haas’ eye for the made-in-the-USA team.

“I am really interested in the Haas team,” Rossi told the online site F1Web.It (quotes are translated).

“I have the necessary knowledge, the experience, I understand Formula 1 thanks to the experience I have gained. And I think to promote the presence of the sport in America, people need a home rider.

“Haas in this direction adds another element and takes a step forward. Every year I go back to the Austin circuit (Circuit of the Americas) for the Grand Prix, I find that the sport is growing (in the U.S.).

“I am proud to be part of the development of Formula 1 in America. Now (America on the F1 scene) will do something important with the arrival of Haas.”

Rossi has steadily moved up the racing ladder in Europe over the last six years, competing in Formula BMW, the Renault World Series and, most recently, GP2.

Rossi, who served as both a reserve and test driver last season in F1, said he is now “concentrating my efforts on IndyCar” for a possible ride in 2015.

“In the long term, I plan to be in Formula One, but having worked for two years as a test driver, in 2015 I want to race,” said Rossi, who added he’s “considering several opportunities.”

IndyCar may be the best place for him for at least one season, more out of necessity than design.

“As you know, in Formula One there is always very few places available, but now even less due to the collapse of the small teams,” Rossi said.

“I’m trying to run (in F1) in 2016. But unfortunately, as we all know, the places in Formula 1 (for 2015) are virtually unavailable. (And) now there are even less (chances in 2015) because of the fail of the small teams (that) I have experienced first-hand both with Caterham and Marussia.”

But his heart is still in F1. And that’s why Rossi thinks driving for Haas may be the best thing for both of them. It’s unclear if he has already spoken with Haas, but if not, such a conversation is likely soon.

“For six years, I’ve worked (to race) in Formula 1,” Rossi said. “I was close several times last season. We have opened the way to something important; I have to keep pushing.”

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X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.