After an eight years hiatus for American Formula 1 drivers, Alexander Rossi delivered a brilliant performance in his debut at the Singapore Grand Prix.It had been less than a week since The Marussia Formula 1 team tapped the young American to pilot their car. Handicapped with the slowest car in the grid, Rossi qualified last and started the race on the back row in 20th place. It was after the checkered flag that Rossi brought the car home, in one piece and with 100% more race experienced as a F1 driver than he had before.
the Singapore night street circuit is perhaps the most difficult track for any driver to debut. The issue with a street circuit is that there are no runoff points and very little margin for error.during the first practice Rossi put his car against a wall. The impact collapsed the suspension on the right side of the car. No driver ever wants to wreck a car, and especially in their first drive. But the Marussia team had the car ready and Rossi was eliminated after the first qualifying session.
But the primary goal for Rossi was to qualify, race and bring the car home. After a scary start at the first free practice when he hit the wall, he was careful not to push his qualifying. To qualify he had to finish within 107% of the pole qualifying time. Rossi made it with 1.19 seconds to spare. He brought the car home down 2 laps but ahead of his teammate Will Stevens.
In his post race interview with Will Buxton on NBC, Alex was in a new place. He was extremely excited and thrilled for the opportunity. Rossi’s excitement was completely understandable, but indicated that he was brand new to Formula 1, and his learning curve is nearly vertical. Gene Haas has enough experience to understand the dynamic Rossi is experiencing now., it’s not his first shootout in a paddock. The Haas F1 Team will have their own problems. And now that Alexander Rossi is on the big stage hs is fair game for any team that may want to upgrade.
He may not be the right driver for Haas, but Alexander Rossi’s career has kicked off and the game clock is running. His sights will be looking down range and any pre-occupation on the Haas F1 Team now is only folly. All Alex needs to do is focus on his driving and the rest will take care of itself. As for Haas? It is inevitable that the two paths will meet!