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pic 10/05/15 More points for Alexander Rossi with 4th place today at Barcelona.

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The weather for today’s 26 lap Sprint Race was much cooler than it had been yesterday with air and track temperatures of 20° and 22° respectively. Alexander was starting 6th on the reverse grid following his excellent 3rd in Saturday’s Sprint Race and Jordan was back on the seventh row in 14th place but was effectively 13th as Mitch Evans did not complete the warm-up lap. All the cars were using the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres.

The first start was aborted as Pic did not take his correct grid place causing Matsushita to stall and have to start from the pitlane so a second warm-up lap was taken reducing the race distance to 25 laps. All the cars got away well and Alexander held on to 6th position but an accident on the opening lap saw the Virtual Safety Car employed as the damaged car of Binder was removed. As racing resumed Marciello spun in 3rd promoting Alexander to 5th and the Racing Engineering car was now chasing Gasly but Haryanto was very close behind.

The young American was now involved in a tense battle for the lead with the top six cars separated by just 3.5 seconds after seven laps. On lap eight Alexander tried to pass Nato but the Arden car gave him no room and he had to back off losing a place to Haryanto but he immediately regained the place from the Indonesian driver and on the next lap he passed Nato to take 4th. The Racing Engineering car was now closing on the 3rd place Gasly but Haryanto was still right behind him so he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.

As the cars passed the halfway point of the race Alexander was just one second behind Gasly but Haryanto was still right behind him. With five laps remaining the battle for third was very close with the gap from Gasly in 3rd to Markelov in 6th less than three seconds but as the race came to an end the positions remained unchanged and Alexander took another good finish with 4th place.

Jordan lost a place to Sirotkin at the start falling to 14th place but he moved up to 12th as the Virtual Safety Car period finished and he began to quickly close in on Sirotkin. After eight laps Jordan was involved in a big battle for the points scoring positions with just eight seconds between 8th and 18th position. Jordan continued to push but with the cars so close together everybody was able to use their DRS so trying to overtake the car ahead without being passed by the car behind was proving very difficult. On lap 17 the Racing Engineering car made contact with Canamasas but without damage continuing in 11th position. In the closing laps Jordan was unable to gain any further places so he finished a disappointing weekend without adding to his points score.

It has been a mixed weekend for Racing Engineering with Alexander being very competitive in both races but Jordan not being quite on the pace all weekend. There will now be a two week gap until the teams meet again at Monaco on the 21st May.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “A quite positive race today as we finished in P4 with Alex, we picked up a place when Marciello made a mistake and then Alex made a good pass on Nato. His pace was consistent and very similar to the guys in front and good enough to defend from Haryanto despite DRS. Obviously the slight disappointment was being overtaken by Vandoorne at the start and we couldn’t get past him in the race which meant he increased the points gap but it is positive that Alex is in 3rd place in the Championship. Overall it was a difficult weekend for Jordan but it went better and better, he improved his driving and the car suited him better and he had a good race today with good pace and he is learning and avoiding mistakes and he is discovering that it is hard to battle in such a competitive field as GP2 is this year, It is positive for the team to be leaving in 2nd place in the Team Championship so we will continue the hard work and prepare for Monaco.”

Jordan King: “I was a lot happier with this race, the speed was good and I was challenging people and making good progress. We found something in the setup to allow me to push the tires a bit harder and make them last longer. I was worried about pushing too hard and I think in reality I could have gone a little faster for longer so that hindered me a little but I was catching people at the end and when I was running in clean air I was as fast as or faster than the front two. All-in-all I’m leaving here today a lot happier than I was in the first two days.”

Alexander Rossi:: “I lost a spot to Vandoorne at the start which was disappointing, then my focus shifted to maximising the race and keeping Haryanto back. To be honest after the Virtual Safety Car it was, more or less, a very static race, I had a little bit of a fight with Nato but I was running 4th for most of the race and I couldn’t really make any inroads on P3 and the car behind couldn’t close on me either. It was good to gain more points but we still need a little bit to catch up to Vandoorne and we have time before the next race to make that up.”
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