September 16, 2012 – Budapest, Hungary - Arden Caterham FR 3.5 driver, Alexander Rossi was denied the deserving results for World Series by Renault Round 7, after qualifying luck kept him starting each race from the top two rows. Like Silverstone for Round 6, the Banbury, England based team showed their pace was equal to more established FR 3.5 teams, competing at the sharp end in all sessions over the weekend.
Alexander Rossi was on pace in Friday practice, ending the day 5th quickest overall. Hungaroging is a relatively short circuit with lots of medium and high speed corners IS notorious for difficult qualifying with respect to potential traffic, making it very challenging for a driver to consistently complete a lap without being held up. For Race 1 qualifying, Rossi was on pace for front row start, up over .5 seconds in the first two sectors when encountered a gaggle of cars staging for their gap in sector three, thus forcing the Caterham F1 test driver to abort a blistering lap. Starting P8 for race one, Rossi and Sorenson fought for position most of the first lap, when Nico Muller slotted past them both with the race settling down shortly after that. Hungaroring also known for a difficult place to overtake and proved that again in race 1, as the race preceded to finish in a fairly tightly spaced procession, Rossi finishing 9th.
Rossi was not the only driver over the weekend to experience qualifying woes, but he was denied again in Race 2 qualifying. Rossi ended first stint (15 minutes in qualifying) P2 and only 1/10th off quick time. During the 2nd stint in qualifying and new tires, drivers attempt to find that elusive gap, slowing down to almost to a stop in the final sector, which is uncommon to most circuits. Rossi up in sector one and two and looking to have another 1st or 2nd row start had to abort for a second time over the weekend in sector three due to traffic, lining up P10 for race two.
Race two, Rossi had a good start and side by side with Jules Bianchi, fighting for position the better part of lap one. Rossi was finally able to capitalize on Bianchi, when he pitted for rear tires and found himself in clean air for three laps thereafter to put in the fastest lap of the race, at 1:30:778. Shortly thereafter Rossi caught up with Korjus, while quicker and placing pressure was never able to overtake, finishing in 8th position.
Saturday Qualifying One
Best time: 1:29:225
Qualifying Position: P8
Saturday Race One
Best time: 1:32:759
Finish position: P9
Sunday Qualifying Two
Best time: 1:28:729
Qualifying Position: P10
Sunday Race Two
Best time: 1:30:778 – FASTEST LAP OF THE RACE
Finish position: P8
Alexander Rossi – “Hungaroring is infamous for being a track that is very difficult to overtake on, so going into the weekend we knew how important qualifying was going to be. Based on our pace throughout the Silverstone weekend and Friday practice in Hungary, we knew that we could be challenging for the sharp end of the field. I had a great race car and thank the team, but unfortunately luck in qualifying was not on our side, as both qualifying runs were spoiled by traffic, with many cars waiting for gaps in the final sector, when I had to abort my lap. It is a characteristic of the track, but as we had the true potential to be in the top four in each session it was incredibly disappointing for everyone to finish qualifying in eighth position for race one and tenth for race two.”
“Saturday’s race was fairly anti-climatic, but Sunday was always going to be more intense as this is the mandatory pitstop race. The boys did a great job in the stop and we ended up coming home with the quickest lap of the race and picking up two positions, which shows the pace of the car. I think the team has done a fantastic job this weekend and I am very much looking forward to showing everyone what we can do at the next race in Paul Ricard. I won there last year and I will be looking to carry that sort of form through to the race in Paul Ricard in a couple weeks.
Julian Rouse, Arden Caterham Team Manager -”Alexander did a great job this weekend and his results don’t really reflect his performance and outright speed over the weekend. Both qualifying sessions were compromised by traffic, and with the Hungarian circuit being notoriously difficult to overtake on Alexander’s qualifying position made both races very tricky.
“However, this weekend has re-affirmed our belief that the team has made big steps forward and we look forward to a very competitive final two races.”
Next Round for World Series by Renault, FR 3.5 is Round 8, Paul Ricard, France – September 28th – 30th.