Alexander Rossi, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Alexander Rossi to get F1 running as Caterham test driver

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Alexander Rossi, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Alexander Rossi, Lotus, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Alexander Rossi has been appointed test driver at Caterham.

The American driver will drive for the team in some Friday practice sessions during the season.

Rossi will race in Formula Renault 3.5 this year with Arden Caterham team. He finished third in the championship last year behind champion Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Giedo van der Garde has already been appointed the team’s official reserve driver, but competing in GP2 will leave him unable to participate in some F1 practice sessions.

Rossi said: “My goal to be in Formula One is one step closer after being signed as test driver for Caterham F1 Team.

“I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and Riad Asmat for their trust in me and long term commitment to my career. The Caterham F1 Team support, coupled with the efforts of my management and investors, has brought my goal of reaching an F1 race seat one step closer.

“In the past year I have spent time in Hingham at the factory and built solid relationships right across the team.

“I feel really comfortable with everyone and am looking forward to growing as a professional with Caterham and acquiring as much experience as possible from Friday Practice, the F1 simulator and time with the team.”

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22 comments on “Alexander Rossi to get F1 running as Caterham test driver”

  1. I Love The Pope
    9th March 2012, 13:27

    Well, I wish him best of luck. It is nice to have an American in F1, but we have high expectations, Alex! Fan bases aren’t free – you’re going to have to earn it!

  2. I would hope its a dead certain that he will be in the car on friday come the Austin GP weekend. And ideally one or two weekends before that as well to get into a rithm.

    Headline: “Yankee takes away Russian’s seat for Texas”

    1. Brilliant post @BasCB ! They gave time to Chandhok for India so I’m sure they will for Rossi in the US.

  3. So there goes every bit of a chance that Van Der Garde seemed to have. First Trulli was replaced by Petrov, another relatively young driver, making his chance at getting a seat much slimmer and now Rossi gets appointed as test driver. Is Van Der Garde even allowed to run practice sessions this year?

    1. I Love the Pope
      9th March 2012, 18:12

      *Van MUNDE Garde

    2. Giedo van der Garde has already been appointed the team’s official reserve driver, but competing in GP2 will leave him unable to participate in some F1 practice sessions.

      The American driver will drive for the team in some Friday practice sessions during the season.

      From the article, it looks like he will do most of them…

      1. The article clearly says “some” practice sessions. Not “most” practice sessions.

    3. Is Van Der Garde even allowed to run practice sessions this year?

      Only at races where there is no GP2 race. So he cannot do Sepang, Bahrain, Singapore or any of the European races.

    4. It’s all about the money, Who ever pay’s more will get a test run, It really is that simple. That’s F1 nowday’s.

      1. The money comes from sponsors. Sponsors want exposure in the sport. Therefore, sponsors tend to attach themselves to the most talented drivers, because those drivers represent their best chance at exposure, since any driver who takes part in any session of a Grand Prix weekend must have a superlicence.

  4. Good stuff, Rossi is quite promising.

    1. Definitely better than van der Garde.

  5. I made the BIGGEST gasp when I saw this headline. I’m pretty sure this means we’ll be seeing him Friday in Austin! ;D

  6. Finish the track on time, then we’ll talk who will and who won’t race in Austin.

    1. Finishing the track on time is not an issue – construction is well ahead of schedule.

  7. Are you noticing how guys are skipping GP2 and going straight from FR3.5 to F1? Vergne, Ricciardo, Rossi…

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s a case of “skipping” anything at all – particularly since the likes of Grosjean and Pic were running in GP2 last year. In fact, half the grid (Hamilton, Rosberg, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Perez, Maldonado, Senna, Kovalianen, Petrov, Glock and Pic) graduated from GP2.

      The main reason why teams are opting to place their drivers in Formula Renault is because of the GP2 rules that state any driver who takes part in any session of a Grand Prix weekend – including FP1 – may not race in GP2. The drivers instead go to Formula Renault, because then the teams can be flexible about when their test drivers do Friday running.

      1. I didn’t realise there was such a rule. I had been wondering about some curious driver configurations, but now it makes sense.

        1. The rule has been written that way since the series began in 2005, but it’s only really come into play in the last year or so. Giving rookie drivers track time in FP1 on a regular basis has only recently come into vogue. That’s why Formula Renault has become so popular – drivers can do a full racing program and serve as test driver at every event because there are no clashes between the Formula Renault and Formula 1 calendars (except Monaco, but Formula Renault is a support race).

          1. Actually I remember once seeing driver doing F1 FP and GP2 same weekend – Neel Jani in Silverstone 2006. He was regularly doing FPs that year, but that weekend he was also injury replacement for another driver in GP2.

          2. That’s an extreme scenario. Jani no doubt got a special exemption to compete in the GP2 race.

    2. Alex Yoong, who’s part of the Caterham driver development scheme, said: “GP2 is twice the budget and it is not better than WSR this year. All the good drivers are in WSR and it is super competitive.” If Rossi can win it this season, which I would argue is the best 3.5 grid ever, he could skip straight to F1 if Caterham have a seat and can afford to run him.

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