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pic 20/06/15 Alexander Rossi drives a strong race today at the Red Bull Ring to finish 6th.

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The rain that had affected the F1 practice and qualifying sessions had disappeared although it was still cool and cloudy with an air and track temperatures of 14° and 29° respectively with the threat of rain in the air for today’s 40 lap Feature Race. Following yesterday’s GP2 qualifying Jordan King was starting from 11th place on the grid (including a three grid penalty he had received after his accident in Monaco) and Alexander Rossi was right beside him in 12th. Jordan was starting on the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres with Alexander on the P Zero Red Supersoft compound.

Alexander made a good start making up several places and as the lap finished he passed Pic for 8th but almost immediately there was debris on the track which caused the Virtual Safety Car to be deployed. Racing was soon underway again and Rossi was soon pressuring Haryanto and he was quickly past and into 6th on lap four and two laps later he out-braked Gasly into Turn 2 to take 5th. Using the Supersoft tyres to the maximum the Racing Engineering car pulled away from Gasly and on lap eight the young American took his mandatory pit stop , switching to the P Zero White medium tyre, and he returned to the track in 19th but 4th of the cars that had pitted.

Alexander set the fastest race lap so far on lap twelve with a time of 1:17.333s and the four men, Vandoorne, Sirotkin, Matsushita and Alexander, who had already pitted and were effectively fighting for the lead were separated by just over three seconds. On lap seventeen another fastest lap of 1:16.898s saw him close the gap to Matsushita to just 0.4 seconds and on lap twenty two he passed the Japanese driver in a fantastic manoeuvre to lay 3rd of the pitstopping drivers as he now chased Sirotkin. As the race entered the last six laps Alexander was two seconds behind Sirotkin and 0.4 seconds ahead of Matsushita who had the advantage of DRS and on lap 35 the ART car took the position and two laps later Lynn, on Supersoft tyres, moved ahead as Alexander suffered from a braking problem and, as he slowed further, he dropped another place to Markelov to finish 6th at the flag.

Jordan found himself in a traffic jam as the cars started and he finished the lap in 13th but he gained a place as he passed Negrao and he soon closed on Markelov and Evans and by lap twelve the Racing Engineering driver was involved in a big battle with the gap from 5th to 9th just three seconds. As the race approached the halfway distance Jordan set a set of personal fastest laps and he closed the gap to Evans to 0.7 seconds. By lap twenty four the gap was unchanged but the young Briton had pulled out a 2.6 second gap over Marciello and on lap 26 he passed Gasly to move up to 5th and once again he was right behind Evans.

On lap twenty nine Jordan took his mandatory pitstop changing to the P Zero Red Supersoft tyres resuming in 14th position. With five laps to go he was in 12th but involved in a tough battle with Gasly but he was able to keep the DAMS car behind him as the race finished.

A mixed race for the Racing Engineering team with Alexander driving a strong race to gain six places and he will start tomorrow’s Sprint race from 3rd on the reversed grid and he must be one of the favourites to win. For Jordan the places lost at the start cost him a chance of a better finish but he will be pushing as hard as ever tomorrow.
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©GP2
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©GP2
Team Comments:

Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, President of Racing Engineering: “Given Alexander’s starting position, finishing 6th is actually not bad. However, being in a position to finish on the podium it’s obviously a bit of a disappointment when you drop back. Alex had a great race with some fantastic overtaking and starting tomorrow’s sprint race from third is another great chance to score good points. As for Jordan, he was a bit slower at getting away at the start, but drove a good race also showing us some great overtaking. Sadly he did not score any points today finishing in 12th, but with a similar performance I am sure he can make it into the points tomorrow.”

Jordan King: “My start was not very good off the line and then i was a bit cautious on the first lap. I think the race pace was good and I had some really good overtaking manoeuvres. It’s a shame the DRS didn’t work every time it should have as this cost me a bit of time when I could have gotten past people. It was a quite good race, but I was stuck in traffic and I think I could have done better, if I was in clean air.”

Alexander Rossi:: “Starting from 12th it was always gonna be a difficult race and we knew that on the option-prime-strategy we needed to make the first laps count. Which I was able to do with a good start and overtaking quite a few cars before we did the pit stop. After pit stop I was in a quite good position and it looked like third place was possible. However we had an issue with the braking towards the end of the race which cost us three positions. But anyways it was a good recovery from Friday and we look to go forward again tomorrow.”
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©GP2
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©GP2
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