Rossi: GP2 victory in Belgium “perfect timing”


Alexander Rossi believes that his victory in last Sunday’s GP2 race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps came at a perfect time as he heads into the final stages of the 2015 season.

Rossi dominated the GP2 sprint race in support of the Belgian Grand Prix, taking the lead on the first lap before leading all the way to the checkered flag, leading home teammate Jordan King for a Racing Engineering one-two.

The result saw Rossi return to second place in the drivers’ championship, and has given the American great hope ahead of the final four double-header rounds of the 2015 season.

“This win was the perfect timing for myself and gives momentum for the team leading into the last eight races,” Rossi said.

“We had a good start which enabled me to challenge for the lead into turn one in both races. Today I could see the fight for the lead was going to be turn five and not turn one; Jordan and I fought hard under braking, but I had the better line into the chicane and was able to overtake.

“From there it was about not only managing the tires and the gap to the car behind, but also being aware of the pressure on me from the other competitors with use of DRS. Jordan would close on me in sector one, which meant I needed to open up a bit of gap each lap in sector two, which in turn took a bit more from my tires.

“It gives us that additional confidence going into Monza and final eight races. We just need to win more races and keep focused on scoring as many points as possible in the remaining rounds.

“I am very proud of the team. We had a bit of a slow start to the weekend, but everyone bounced back perfectly to the situation around us.”

The gap to championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne remains a daunting 105 points, giving Rossi little hope of mounting a serious challenge for the title.

However, this victory will undoubtedly have been brought to the attention of NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas, who is set to join the F1 grid with Haas F1 Team in 2016.

Rossi is known to be a candidate for one of the two available seats, but does lack the prior F1 experience that the team is craving for its debut next April.

In an interview with AUTOSPORT after his victory, Rossi confirmed he was still in talks with the team, but that he is also looking at other options for 2016.

“We’re talking, but I wouldn’t say advanced talks yet,” he said.

“Obviously I have my hopes, but at the same time I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket because we are talking to other teams and looking at different options, with Formula 1 still being the main objective.”