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pic 04/09/15 A disappointing qualifying at Monza for Alexander Rossi and Jordan King.

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It was a bright, sunny morning at Monza for the forty-five minute practice session with air and track temperatures of 23° and 32° respectively and all the cars were running the Pirelli P Zero Orange hard compound tyres. The Racing Engineering drivers, Alexander Rossi and Jordan King were amongst the first on the track and Alexander went to the top of the timing sheet with a time of 1:33.564s on his first flying lap and he improved this to 1:32.777s on his fifth lap.

Jordan’s first flying lap was 1:33.427s and he quickly reduced this to 1:32.833s for 11th whilst Alexander was just a little faster in 4th with a lap of 1:32.208s. After fifteen minutes both men returned to the pits for some set-up adjustments and with twenty minutes of the session still to run both of the Racing Engineering cars returned to the track. Alexander immediately reduced his time to 1:32.208s but both he and Jordan returned to the pits for some further adjustments, the young American returning to the track with some ten minutes left and Jordan followed a five minutes later. Alexander was now using the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyre and he jumped up to second on 1:31.986s but Jordan did not improve on his earlier time.

It was cloudier for the thirty minute qualifying session but the temperatures were similar to the morning with air and track figures of 25° and 32° respectively and all the cars were now running the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres as the drivers battled for their grid positions for tomorrow’s Feature Race. Jordan was the first to set a flying lap going 10th on 1:32.814s and then Alexander went a little faster with a 1:32.785s and immediately pitted for some adjustments to his car. Jordan soon improved his time to 1:32.334s but the lap times for all the drivers were falling lap by lap and it was the young Briton’s turn to pit for some setup changes.

Alexander returned to the track with fifteen minutes remaining and with only one other car on the track he reduced his lap time to 1:32.283s and he continued to take advantage of the lack of traffic to go 8th on a 1:32.021s on his next lap. Jordan came out of the pits with ten minutes remaining and he went a little faster at 1:32.283s but he was unable to improve any further in the remainder of the session.

With Alexander qualifying in 10th and Jordan 17th it will be a difficult Feature Race tomorrow for both men but they will, as ever, fight as hard as they can to try score as many points as possible and secure a good grid position for Sunday’s Sprint race.
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Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “Obviously today’s result is disappointing and not in line with the team’s normal level of performance. Several parameters need to be analysed to understand what we were missing today. Even though the starting positions of our drivers are not what we were aiming for, we are working hard to provide them with the best possible car to finish in the points.”

Jordan King: “I struggled a little bit in practice with a braking issue. At the time I was quite confident solving this everything would be OK in qualifying but in hindsight it wasn’t quite correct as we still struggled. There were a couple of tenths in myself, but there is still something we need to find for an ultimate lap speed. So we focus now on tomorrow and make sure we have a good race car and a good strategy.”

Alexander Rossi:: “Coming out of practice we were fairly confident based on the pace we had. We focused a lot on the qualifying performance as we know this has not been our best quality. Unfortunately, it didn’t come together for us today and we need to continue to work very hard and understand why this is the case. As always I am quite confident for the races and look forward to passing some cars tomorrow.”
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