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pic 19/06/15 A tough qualifying for Racing Engineering today at the Red Bull Ring.

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This morning saw the 45 minute free practice session taking place in cool and cloudy conditions with an air temperature of 17° and the threat of rain in the air. All the teams, including the Racing Engineering drivers, were using the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres.

Both Alexander Rossi and Jordan King took to the circuit as the session started but Alexander returned to the pits after a single installation lap and did not return to the track for another 18 minutes when he immediately started setting some fast laps, going 10th with a time of 1:16.085s which he immediately improved to 1:15.942s. With seventeen minutes left the young American returned to the pits for some adjustments and a fresh set of tyres and he resumed running with just seven minutes remaining and on his second lap he moved up to 4th with a time of 1:15.272s. Jordan was quickly on the pace and, despite a quick spin in the final corner, he set a time of 1:16.984s, he returned to the pits after 15 minutes and after some set up changes and a new set of tyres he improved to 1:15.864s. A further change to his car saw the young Briton decrease his time further to 1:15.692s to finish the session in 11th.

It was sunnier in the afternoon for the 30 minutes of qualifying with air and track temperatures of 17° and 28° respectively and the cars were now using the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft compound tyres as the drivers battled for their grid positions for tomorrow’s Feature Race. Both of the Racing Engineering drivers were immediately on the pace with Alexander going 5th with a lap of 1:15.476s and then 1:15.323s and after twelve minutes he returned to the pits for some set up changes and a new set of supersoft tyres. Jordan was right behind his teammate in 6th as he set a time of 1:15.531s and on his next lap he reduced this to 1:15.342 before he also pitted for new tyres and setup changes.

With nine minutes of the session remaining both cars returned to the track and Jordan immediately went 3rd on 1:14.574s but all the cars were now improving and the time was ultimately only good enough for 8th as the session finished which means that, taking into account the three position grid penalty he carries over from Monaco, he will start 11th. Alexander also improved his time to 1:14.881s but this left him in a disappointed 12th as he suffered from the time he lost in the morning session.

Although both Jordan and Alexander will not be starting as high up the grid as they would like the Red Bull Ring does offer overtaking opportunities and, given their race pace in the previous rounds, both men will be looking to move up the field and aim for a finish on the podium.
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Team Comments:

Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, President of Racing Engineering: “Today’s qualifying results are disappointing as we definitely expected to do better following a positive free practice session. In Alex’s case, we pretty much missed the first part of the session, which didn’t help in preparing the best possible car for his second run. However, the engineers and Alex did well, even though there was no time to climb any higher than 12th. In Jordan’s case, he did a solid job and was very strong on his second run. It’s a real pity his 8th place in qualifying is translated into 11th on the grid following his penalty from Monaco. With Jordan and Alex starting 11th and 12th respectively tomorrow, we have a tough job ahead of us, but the race is long and the goal will be for both to score more points in the championship.”

Jordan King: “In free practice it was the first time I was back in the car after a month. The timing was close and really we were not where we would have liked to be, but personally I had a very good feeling and felt comfortable. In qualifying the 1st run was a bit scrappy. We changed some things from free practice and I was not ready in myself. Then, with the second set of tyres all went well and I set a pretty good lap. With some more small changes on the car we would have been right up there fighting, which is annoying as I have the penalty taken over from Monaco.”

Alexander Rossi:: “Free practice was OK. We spent the session improving the balance and were confident about going into qualifying. The option tyres this weekend were new at this track which was an unknown in terms of car balance. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a read on the balance in the 1st run in qualifying due to a brake issue. We were a bit blind going on the 2nd set and this is resulted in a very disappointing qualifying. We have a big job ahead of us tomorrow, so we have to make sure we are ready.”
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