American racer Alexander Rossi is set to appear for Caterham during Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix after his first outing in the CT03 was rescheduled.
Rossi had been due to drive for the team in Bahrain before the team announced it was to reshuffle its driver roster – with Rossi taking up a drive with the Caterham GP2 team and Heikki Kovalainen returning to the team to help with development of the new car.
Kovalainen duly appeared on track in Bahrain as Rossi focused on his new GP2 role, with the same plan in place for the opening race on European soil in Barcelona.
As such, Rossi's first chance to drive the CT03 will come in Montreal, where he will be free of his GP2 commitments, with further outings set to follow later in the year.
“Obviously the weekends that I'm not doing GP2 I'll be looking to be drive the F1 car in Friday practice sessions and that will start in Montreal,” he told ESPN
. “Beyond that I'll be doing at least one more, and possibly others, but it's hard to say exactly what will happen because in F1 you never know for certain until you're in the car. Whatever happens, the more time you can spend in an F1 car the better.
“The good news from the F1 team is that we made some good progress in Bahrain with our performance. I think everyone was a little bit relieved to be honest because we've had some updates that have come and gone and they haven't really produced the results we were all expecting. The fact that we made a small step forwards in Bahrain is a good boost for everyone and we'll have more parts coming in Barcelona and at other races this year, although we have to take into perspective that everybody else will too.”
Rossi had been expected to focus on his role with Caterham's F1 team this season but he admitted that the opportunity to now compete in GP2 was the 'best of both worlds'
“The call up was a bit of a surprise because I entered 2013 expecting my next step towards F1 to be a few Friday practice sessions with Caterham rather than another year of racing,” he said. “The reason we did that is because the biggest challenge for most drivers entering F1 is not the step up in machinery from GP2 or World Series by Renault but actually getting used to the demands of the world of F1. So to have a year in the paddock, travelling to every race and getting used to what it's all about was a priority of mine.
“Doing FP1s and being with a Formula One team was an option that protected me a bit but would still give me valuable experience. Now with the GP2 drive and my reserve driver role at with the F1 team I kind of have the best of both worlds, and at the end of the day F1 teams want to see you racing. It's all well and good setting a quick lap time in a practice session but that's not what's going to seal the deal. The situation I have now is a blessing and I'm very happy that I get to race this year in what I think will be a competitive car.”