COVER STORY F1 Traveler Magazine 2013

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1 COVER STORY F1 Traveler Magazine 2013

2 ALEXANDER ROSSi This man might very well be the future of F1 in America. by Joey Franco Calm, composed, and charming- these are the three c s that can sum up 22-year-old Formula 1 protégé Alexander Rossi. Although he may not yet be a household name in his native US, he has garnered his fair share of media attention. Yet again, in a country where F1 has a backseat to the likes of NASCAR and Indy, who is an F1 household name? I sat down with Rossi following his Friday run at the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix. He was no stranger to the track as he had raced and won at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Formula BMW. Shortly after, he boarded a flight to his Le Mans test session for Caterham, who is looking into entering the prestigious endurance race in the near future. This Friday run was actually the first time that he had the 2013 Caterham F1 vehicle on track. He managed to put in 20 laps during the 90 minute practice session in an array of conditions. 11

3 It was great to get back into F1 action and to do so in Canada, at a track I ve raced and won at in the past in Formula BMW, was a good feeling, he said. The hectic weather conditions allowed Rossi to run on wets, inters and slicks, giving him the chance to try out the full range of tyres, something he hadn t done before in F1. After the installation lap I wanted to go straight back out again as, for me, moving up from GP2 grip levels to F1, even though the track was wet to start with, there was still so much more grip than I m used to that I wanted to get on with it. Although he was only announced as a test driver for Caterham F1 in 2012, the Nevada City native has been hovering around the world of F1 since 2009 when he test drove the 2009-spec BMW Sauber F1.09 Formula One vehicle as part of the young driver s test in Jerez, Spain. From the very beginning, when I fist started, my goal was to drive in F1, he said with the utmost conviction in his voice. In order to achieve his goal, he knew he had excel on the European circuit. Rossi broke into the racing world in 2005 in the Skip Barber Western Regional. Year after year he progressed up the ranks from Formula BMW to GP2, GP3, and Formula Renault 3.5 Series. After living in Italy for two years, he relocated to England as soon as the Caterham opportunity arose in I think the biggest challenge, as everyone will tell you, is always going to come back to the budget, and finding the budget, says Rossi. He considers himself very fortunate to be a part of one of the few teams that are chasing American sponsors. GE is very close to us, Dell and Intel as well. There s a lot of interest from them, he says as he quickly segways into the success of the US Grand Prix.

4 I think the biggest challenge, as everyone will tell you, is always going to come back to the budget, and finding the budget, says Rossi.

5 F1 Traveler Magazine 2013 Images Courtesy Caterham F1 Team

6 The California native s 2013 corporate backers also include Alaska Coffee Roasting, and Vichy Springs. During the 2012 US Grand Prix, Ecclestone hinted at the possibility of a third US race in California, which would be a home state race for Rossi. I Think the US is definitely big enough to support it, and it s diverse enough- there s not one state that s the same, said the 22-year-old when asked if he believes there is a market for 3 US races. I think that would be something that would be possible, whether it will happen in the near future I don t know, but obviously Long Beach was a successful race- there s no reason why they can t do something like that again. It surely has been a hectic year for Rossi, juggling between GP2, Le Mans, and F1 testing. I think the biggest thing is also getting used to the team, and the size of the team, he said. In the junior program you have eight or nine people you need to work with- F1 has about 60, So that is a bit overwhelming. Rossi, along with a promising 2012 and 2013 US Grand Prix sure is something that can have race fans excited in the US. The corporate backing and investments that American corporations have undertaken is also very promising in a country which had seemed to hit rock bottom in F1. Can Alexander Rossi possibly be the face of F1 in the US- he is surely on the right track.- Alexander Rossi in 40 Seconds From 175 Formula car starts, 22-year old Alexander has: 39 wins, 68 podiums, 35 poles and current win percentage of 22.28% 2013 Caterham F1 Team Official Reserve Driver 2012 Caterham F1 Team Official Test Driver 2012 World Series by Renualt - 11th Overall 2011 World Series by Renault 3rd Overall and Rookie Champion 2011 AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program 2011 FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy 2010 ART Grand Prix GP3-4th Overall Championship 2009 BMW Sauber F1 Testing - F1 Superlicense Qualifications 2009 GP2 Asia / Meritus Racing and Ocean Racing - 9th Overall, 3 Top 5 Finishes 2009 International Formula Master Championship / ISR Racing - 4th Overall and Rookie Champion 2008 Formula BMW World Champion, 1st Place 2008 Formula BMW Americas 1st Champion, 10 wins 2007 Formula BMW Americas 3rd Overall, 3 wins 2006 Skip Barber National Series, 3rd Overall, 4 wins 2006 Skip Barber Western Regional Series, 1st Champion Follow Alexander on 15

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