Alexander Rossi: “Today has been pretty special”

by Paul Hensby

Alexander Rossi reflected on a ‘special’ Singapore Grand Prix as the American racer celebrated his debut by beating Manor F1 Team team-mate Will Stevens to the flag despite losing his pit-to-car radio mid-race.

Rossi was classified fourteenth, but felt the loss of the radio meant he was unable to pass the field during the safety car period despite being able to under regulations and being given permission by the FIA.

He acknowledges he still has work to do to improve, such as at the start, but ultimately feels the race in Singapore was a successful one.

“My Formula 1 debut has been a long time coming, but today has been pretty special,” said Rossi. “All the hard work to get here finally paid off and it was a fantastic feeling to be racing on the streets of Singapore in my first ever Grand Prix.

“It wasn’t the most straightforward of races; I didn’t get the best of starts, and as the procedure is quite new to me, it’s something I’ll need to work on.

“I recovered quite well though and managed to get a good run into Turn 5, where I was able to get past my team-mate.

“Everything was going well until around the midpoint of the race, when I lost radio communications. This was particularly challenging because of the second Safety Car period and I wasn’t able to receive instructions from the team about when to unlap myself.

“Despite that, I think we managed everything well and I’m very appreciative of all the effort put in by the team to make my Grand Prix debut a successful one.”

Team-mate Stevens was unhappy with his own performance on Sunday, despite feeling he got the best start of the season. He rued a first lap mistake that ultimately saw his team-mate pass him, and was able to put himself into a position to get passed Rossi in the latter stages of the race due to tyre degradation.

“Overall, it hasn’t been a good weekend for me,” reflected Stevens. “Today I actually had my best race start of the season, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the first lap, which cost me position.

“The safety car helped out, and I tried my best whenever I was close enough, but there was too much tyre degradation on the rears towards the end.

“It’s a big shame, because I’ve really enjoyed racing on the streets here, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. Hopefully the next time out at Suzuka will be a more typical race for me.”

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