GP2: Alexander Rossi upbeat after strong showing in pre-season testing

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American GP2 driver Alexander Rossi is relishing the start of the new racing season in Bahrain later this month following a strong showing during pre-season testing.

Rossi, 23, enters his third season in GP2 in 2015 after coming close to making his Formula 1 debut in 2014 as the reserve driver at both Caterham and Marussia.

Following Marussia’s collapse at the end of last season, Rossi opted to move back into GP2 for 2015, securing a front-running seat with Spanish team Racing Engineering.

During the final pre-season test in Bahrain, Rossi displayed a competitive pace, finishing within one-tenth of a second of pace-setter Pierre Gasly in the final standings.

“It has been a very positive test with different variables, including the weather,” Rossi said. “By the morning of the third day we were able to be in the top five consistently and at the sharp end of the grid, which is a great result and shows the development and progress we have made.

“The team did a great job with the qualifying set up and race simulation, and we were able to complete our run programmes successfully throughout the sessions, putting us in good shape for the first race back here in Bahrain.

“All in all, it has been a very positive and successful three days and I’m really looking forward to the first race weekend, starting on the 17th April.”

Rossi has been the leading American F1 hopeful in recent years, and was due to race at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix when Marussia benched Max Chilton due to a contractual dispute.

However, it was soon resolved, preventing Rossi from ending the seven-year period without an American driver racing in F1.

He had been due to deputize for Jules Bianchi later in the year following the Frenchman’s tragic injury at the Japanese Grand Prix, but the team folded after fielding just one car in Russia in October.

With the new FIA super licence rules coming into force for 2016, Rossi knows that a strong season in GP2 is required if he is to secure a seat with Haas F1 Team, which will become the 11th F1 team next year.

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,