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American idol // Alexander Rossi makes his F1 debut in Friday Free Practice

Published by Christine

Alexander Rossi makes his F1 debut in Friday Free Practice
Caterham F1

Friday in Barcelona was a practice day filled with third drivers getting a chance behind the wheel. In the first session, four test drivers found themselves completing laps for their respective teams.

Valtteri Bottas has driven the Williams several times before, and finished the session fifth fastest. He was glad to be getting the opportunity at Barcelona, saying: "This was the first track of the season that I already know so it was nice for me to be able to focus purely on the driving from the start."

Jules Bianchi was in the Force India, and he managed to end the session 18th out of 24 runners. The French driver was all about the task in hand: "The session went well, I managed 21 laps on the hard compound tyre and the programme has given us a lot of data to analyse before qualifying."

Alexander Rossi was the headline name of the day, making his debut in the Caterham car and winding up 21st. The American took Kovalainen's seat for the session and felt the pressure immediately: "Today wasn't about setting the quickest lap I could - there may have been another seven or eight tenths to be found but the main thing today was to learn as much as I could, contribute by following the plan, give the engineers clear, concise feedback, and not make any mistakes."

Finally, Dani Clos was participating in the session for HRT, finishing the morning 24th and last. It wasn't a perfect experience, says Clos, but he made the most of it: "I'm happy to have got into the car for the first time today, albeit for a short first encounter. The feeling I had when I left the pits and saw the Spanish crowd, whilst driving for a Spanish team alongside Pedro, was unbelievable. It was my first time in the new car and I wasn't 100% comfortable since the car is built for Narain, so I had to adapt."