28 September 2015
F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Stevens spin a "heart-in-mouth moment" for Rossi
Alexander Rossi: I was able to get out of the way, but it was a real heart-in-mouth moment that I'm sure looked every bit as dramatic from outside the cockpit as it did from where I was sitting!
Alexander Rossi says he had “a real heart-in-mouth moment” when Manor team-mate Will Stevens had his half-spin right in front of him during the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rossi was closely following Stevens during the latter stages of the race at Suzuka, when the Brit lost it out of 130R.
Fortunately, they both emerged unscathed, with Rossi going on to finish 18th and beat Stevens for the second race in succession.
“I was right on the tail of my team-mate throughout the second two stints, and was trying to get past when Will spun. Thankfully, I was able to get out of the way, but it was a real heart-in-mouth moment that I'm sure looked every bit as dramatic from outside the cockpit as it did from where I was sitting!” said Rossi, who only joined the team in Singapore last weekend, after securing a late deal to replace Roberto Merhi.
“All in all, I'm pleased with how things are going after two races and glad we had a good race after a difficult weekend,” he added.
“On the first set of tyres Will was stronger. I was struggling a bit with the balance, but the next two sets I felt that I was definitely quite a bit quicker. We made some changes in the pit stop and the car came alive for me. It was a good fight between us. But at the end I think I was a bit stronger.
“I feel like I am learning every lap that I drive this car and a solid Friday will help us out quite a bit - it would be nice to have a normal Friday as we haven't had one yet.
"I think in Austin [my next F1 race] that will be a priority of ours as well as to have a solid qualifying session because we haven't had one of them either. The progress has been good, although we haven't been able to really show our true potential yet.”
Meanwhile, Manor boss John Booth conceded the near-miss was a bit of a heart stopper: “The race was progressing in a fairly straightforward fashion for us, largely defined by a continuation of the developing intra-team battle between Will and Alex that has kept us very much on the edge of our seats over the last two races,” Booth remarked.
“Then in the closing stages, we experienced a brief heart-stopping moment when Will lost the back of the car at 130R and spun into the path of his team-mate. Credit to them both for their impressive reactions; Will did well to collect the car without leaving the asphalt, while Alex's lightning response ensured there was no contact. There were sharp intakes of breath all round up on the pit wall, but all's well that ends well and we are pleased to achieve our tenth two-car finish of the season. A good job all round, and indeed all weekend, after an emotional return to Suzuka for our team.”
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