After competing in the Formula 1 United States, Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix Alexander Rossi is returning to the cockpit of his Racing Engineering Dallara for the penultimate round of the 2015 GP2 Series at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain. Below Alexander looks forward to the weekend.
Alex, your last weeks have been quite busy and exciting with your F1 activity. How does it feel to get back into your GP2 car?
I am very much looking forward to getting back in the GP2 car and going racing in Bahrain. As much as I have enjoyed my last races in F1, I am happy that I will have the opportunity to fight at the front and the chance to secure second place in the driver’s and team’s championship.
You were able to take race wins in Monza, Spa and Sochi. Do you think you can continue this trend in Bahrain?
Yes, I do as we were very close to winning in Bahrain during the first race of the year and unfortunately we were just a little bit short of pulling it off. We have made a lot of improvements since then as we have seen in the recent races, so I think we need to go to Bahrain looking to execute what we are capable of.
GP2 has already raced in Bahrain earlier this year. Does this influence your race preparation?
Slightly, of course, it is a track that we drivers all know very well and also we have an idea of what worked and what didn’t work last time from a set up standpoint, but at the end of the day it is a completely new race weekend with fresh unknowns. With that said, we need to make sure that we do not make any assumptions, especially as this is the first time that we will share the track with the WEC cars and Michelin rubber.
What are the Bahrain International Circuit’s main characteristics and where do you see the main challenges for driver and car?
It is a very longitudinal circuit, which means there is a lot of braking zones and traction events. This is naturally very demanding on the rear tires so it is a race that is all about tire life and who can have a strong pace in the last 6 laps.
During the 2015 opening round in Bahrain you finished the Feature Race on the podium and 4th in the Sprint Race. Coming back to Sakhir, what are your expectations?
As I said before, we almost won the feature race earlier in the year so I think that both the team and I are seeking a little bit of redemption. We know how to be fast around this track, so we just need to take it one step and one session at a time and if we do that we will be fighting for the win.