Alexander Rossi continued to show promise at the fifth round of the GP2 Series when the Racing Engineering driver took a 2nd place finish at the popular Silverstone circuit.
It began on Friday morning with the American managing to finish practice in 5th, the gap between himself and Rio Haryanto at the top of the times 0.265s. The focus that morning was on long runs, allowing Rossi to get a feel of what his race pace could be on Saturday and Sunday.
Qualifying was even more exceptional for Rossi after he put in a solid performance in order to line up on the second row of the grid, his time of 1:40.419s being enough for 4th place beside the Status Grand Prix of Richie Stanaway.
“The start was a little bit tricky, I had more wheel spin than I was expecting,” admitted Rossi, who lost a position to Nobuharu Matsushita into the first corner. “I tried to fight Stoffel [Vandoorne] on the first lap but unfortunately wasn’t able to get by,” he continued, speaking about his battle with the man ahead of him in the championship, Stoffel Vandoorne.
When the pit window opened, Rossi began to push in order to make his upcoming stop count. “I had to start pushing. I forced the issue a little with Stoffel,” the American referring to the moment he made the Belgian run wide on entry to Turn 4 which allowed him to then pass Stanaway on the next lap and had enough clean air to take his pitstop. “I could push and open up a gap and make my pitstop, they did a great job with that,” Rossi said, praising his mechanics quick performance during the feature race.
In the end Rossi came home in 2nd place, defending from Vandoorne whilst race winner Sergey Sirotkin was too far ahead for the American to challenge.
On Sunday, Rossi finished 4th overall despite a 5 second time penalty for his move on Alex Lynn which saw him exceed the Turn 9 track limits. He finished with a 5.6 second gap over Nick Yelloly in 5th.
“I feel very confident,” Rossi said after Sunday’s sprint race. “This was our best race weekend and to this after our worst race weekend in Austria shows how we can bounce back and we need to continue riding this momentum into Budapest.”
The strong performance leaves Alexander Rossi 14 points ahead of Haryanto in the championship.