BMW-Sauber is to give a test to Rossi at the end of the year, notwithstanding the Bavarian manufacturer's imminent withdrawal from F1 competition at the close of the 2009 campaign – but it might not be the Rossi you are thinking of.
Alexander Rossi is to get a run in one of the Munich and Hinwil-based outfit's 850bhp F1.09 machines at Jerez in southern Spain from 1-3 December as his prize for triumphing in the 2008 Formula BMW World Finals in Mexico City – and he admits that he can barely contain his enthusiasm.
The American teenager is currently competing at the sharp end of proceedings in the Europe-based, junior single-seater International Formula Master Series with ISR Racing, and will next be on-track on the F1 schedule at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix from 28-30 August. In the interim period, the Nevada native reveals, has been preparing himself physically for his big opportunity.
“Formula 1 has been my goal since beginning in karts at age ten,” affirmed 17-year-old Rossi, 2008 Formula BMW Americas Champion. “I work hard at my career each day, but there is still a lot to accomplish as I continue to prove my abilities. I appreciate the guidance that Dr. [Mario] Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director) and the BMW Motorsport staff have added to my career and their continued confidence in me.
“To pilot an F1 car is a responsibility that I've worked toward my whole racing career. Mental and physical training are a big part of my life – my goal is to be prepared, learn as much as possible and do a fantastic job for the team. I will not take this opportunity lightly.
“I have been preparing for the physical demands of the F1 car. I have spoken to BMW F1 driver Robert Kubica about what to expect; he said to prepare my neck for lateral G-loads and my left leg for the brake pedal, which I am told can reach 175 bar of pressure. I've already ramped up the intensity of my training so that I am in peak physical condition for the test. I'll be ready.”
2008 Formula BMW Europe title-winner Esteban Gutierrez – the youngest Mexican driver ever to claim the crown in an international championship, at just 17, and now racing in the F3 Euroseries for ART Grand Prix – is the other driver to join Rossi in the Jerez test.