Tuesday, August 16, 2011

F1 Young Driver Test, an American prospect

Alexander Rossi
The Young Driver Test will take place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit beginning on November 15 and last four days. This test is generally where up and coming drivers get a chance to sample F1 machinery and teams get to evaluate the speed and how these young drivers work. Last year's test had current F1 rookies Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez, Jerome d'Ambrosio, Paul di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo participating and it must be said that these guys have performed well this season.

Now, this is where I will engage in some nationality bias. I will be very interested to see Alexander Rossi in this test and shocked if he does not get the chance. Rossi, 19, from the good ol' US of A, is currently competing the World Series by Renault and is in 4th place in the standings with a chance at the title. Rossi has tested F1 machinery back in 2009 with BMW-Sauber as an award for winning the 2008 Formula BMW World Championship and was to be a part of the failed disaster that was USF1. He is in the Team Lotus driver development program and has been in a Lotus T128 in a demonstration run. I really like his potential and unlike ex-F1 driver, Scott Speed who was under the white hot lights as the "Great American Hope" with the Red Bull Driver search and driver development program, Rossi seems to be going under the radar gaining experience in relative quiet.

The fact that he is affiliated with Team Lotus is also a bonus in my opinion because I believe Team Principal, Tony Fernandes is a first rate businessman and has definitely made decisions and partnerships that says he wants to run a first rate F1 operation. Also, there is more than likely seats to be available in the coming near future as the team continues to grow up.

In regards to some other drivers, Sam Bird is in line to get another look by Mercedes GP and Ferrari need to really look closely at Jules Bianchi. He is going up against current Sauber driver Sergio Perez in September in a "testing duel" but I am of the opinion Perez is definitely in the seat at Ferrari for 2013. So they need to see what Bianchi is all about. Nevertheless, there should be some interesting performances to watch and it will be interesting to see who's profile raises.

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