Five Questions with … Alexander Rossi – INDYCAR

February 4, 2022 by No Comments

NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Alexander Rossi is ready to get back into championship contention after a pair of winless seasons with Andretti Autosport. “A hundred percent,” the driver of the No. 27 AutoNation/NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda told a media gathering at INDYCAR’s Content Day last month. “New year, new day, new opportunity, and we’ll see what it brings for us.”

As the 2022 season approaches, 2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Rossi shared some of his thoughts about where the gains can come from, how Romain Grosjean is integrating with the organization and the value of the internal competition with Colton Herta.

Question: You seemed to make progress in the second half of the 2021 season, with front-row starts at Portland International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca along with a second-place finish at Portland. Was there a breakthrough you can point to, or was it an overall team gain?

Alexander Rossi: That’s a good question. I think the breakthrough was more for us on the 27 side. I think a lot of respects, Colton’s road course pace was pretty stout all through the year (he won the Laguna Seca race, plus two street races, in St. Petersburg and Long Beach). We struggled to match it. I think we were better at Barber and the (Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course), but then at Mid-Ohio and Road America there was a pretty big gap. We had a test at Laguna Seca in August, and I think it was really positive for us.

Q: Where does the overall gain need to come from in 2022 for you to make the improvement you desire?

Rossi: We haven’t been shy about saying that we need to get better (on the ovals), well, anywhere except Indianapolis. So, I think that’s been a big focus. We’re going to be testing at most of them this year, which is a positive. I think if we can kind of bridge that gap, we’ll be in pretty good shape.

Q: Romain Grosjean and his engineer, Olivier Boisson, have joined Andretti Autosport for 2022. What will they bring to the organization, and how much did you race with Grosjean last year?

Rossi: A couple of times; for sure we saw each other on track. It’s going to be a big element that he brings to the table in terms of obviously he’s not a rookie in any capacity. He’s not even a second-year guy. He has a lot of experience in a wide variety of cars (including 10 years in Formula One) and with the addition of Olivier, who was his engineer last year at (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR), they’ll definitely bring some insight that I think will be positive. I look forward to getting started in February.

Q: Can you describe your relationship with Herta and how you work together?

Rossi: Colton and I are great together; he’s become one of my good friends, honestly, and I love working with him. He pushes me to be a better driver. There’s a lot of internal competition, certainly, in the team. After every session it’s all about what the other one did, so I think that’s great. In terms of driving the team forward, there’s competition between the two engineering departments. It certainly is a big factor in terms of elevating the team, and I …….



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