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Rossi to fly to Le Mans after FP1 run in Canada

ESPN Staff
May 31, 2013 « Renault to confirm 2014 supply deals soon | Perez defends his aggressive approach »
Alexander Rossi last drove an F1 car at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi © Sutton Images

Alexander Rossi will travel to Le Mans immediately after his Friday drive with Caterham at next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix as he combines his F1 commitments with testing ahead of the famous 24 hour race.

Rossi will drive a Caterham-liveried Greaves Motorsport Zytek LMP2 car at Le Mans in a few weeks time but is also scheduled to test the Caterham at Montreal on Friday morning. Rossi had been pencilled in to drive the CT03 during free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but an unexpected return to GP2 that weekend and the return of Heikki Kovalainen to the F1 team ruled it out.

He is now set to drive the Friday morning session in Canada but will not stay in Montreal for the remainder of the weekend as testing at Le Mans gets underway in France.

"I leave Montreal on Friday evening, straight after FP2 and head back to Europe for the first Le Mans sessions," he said. "That's another boxed ticked on my list of things for my CV. It's great to be taking part in one of the great races with a team that's already been successful in endurance racing, and to help a bunch of Caterham guys I already know well.

"Like F1, my aim in the first few days with the Le Mans team will be to learn as much I can and build up to the performance, adding value where it counts. It's a huge honour to be able to take part and it's something I'll remember forever, but first my main priority is F1."

Rossi last drove a contemporary F1 car at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi last year and is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.

"Returning to F1 action is obviously another important step in the plan I've worked over a decade for and I take all the opportunities I get very seriously," he said. "This will be my first outing in the CT03 and on the 2013 Pirelli tyres in F1 and it's good that my 2013 F1 debut is on North American soil, in front of a crowd who are seriously passionate about F1 and really know what our sport is all about. I've raced and won in Montreal back in Formula BMW and I enjoy the circuit a lot - it will be a special feeling to play an active role in the race weekend with the team.

"Even though FP1 sessions always seem to be over in the blink of an eye, it'll be good to play an important part in the team's work on track. I was last in an F1 car in the CT02 2012 car in Abu Dhabi, last November for the young driver test so I'm looking forward to see how far the car has progressed since then. This year for the F1 team I've done aero testing, simulation work and I drove at the team's filming day, so this will be a good session for me to use what I learnt about the car in the sim and the aero tests as a comparison to help the team progress this weekend. It will be all about working to the run plan for the session and helping the team set the car up for the race drivers for the rest of the weekend."