2015 F1 driver rankings #17: Alexander Rossi

2015 F1 season review

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Alexander Rossi

Beat team mate in qualifying2/4
Beat team mate in race3/4
Races finished5/5
Laps spent ahead of team mate125/246
Alexander Rossi 2015 form guide

After coming so close to making his F1 race debut with Marussia last year, few could’ve begrudged Alexander Rossi finally getting his chance – except perhaps Roberto Merhi, whose place he took.

Rossi arrived at the back-of-the-grid team to start five of the final seven rounds having spent the season up to that point driving for Racing Engineering in GP2. On his debut at Singapore he put his prior knowledge of the track to good use, finishing ahead of Will Stevens despite a radio problem causing some confusion when he was supposed to regain a lap during a Safety Car period.

He maintained his advantage at two tracks which were new to both drivers in Japan and Mexico, and was back in his GP2 car in Russia and Abu Dhabi. His last appearance for the team was in Brazil, where he managed to out-qualify Stevens but couldn’t maintain the place in the race, losing out to his team mate in a side-by-side battle into turn one.

Nonetheless a point had been made about his potential, and after a long time on the F1 periphery he has surely done enough to prove he deserves a full year in the car. The limited amount of time he spent in competition makes it hard to justify placing him higher than this for now.

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View race-by-race notes on Alexander Rossi

Singapore – With the advantage of some prior track experience Rossi was reasonably close to his team mate’s pace on his first day in the car. But a crash at the end of first practice reduced his running in the second session, and it was no great surprise that he lined up last. He admitted he didn’t get away well at the start, but he got past Stevens at turn five and finished ahead of him. This was despite losing radio communications at one stage, which was why he failed to regain a lap during a Safety Car period.

Japan – Felt his pace improved during the race and finished ahead of his team mate again.

United States – Out-qualified Stevens, and problems for Sainz and Raikkonen elevated him to 17th on the grid. Ran ahead of Nasr until a Safety Car period allowed the Sauber to catch up, and was elevated to 12th by retirements, equalling Manor’s best result of the year.

Mexico – Got back onto the soft tyre at the end of the race and demoted his team mate to take 15th at the flag.

Brazil – On his last race weekend in the car this year, Rossi edged Stevens in qualifying. However he complained of “terrible” balance in his seconds and third stints and said he was powerless to keep his team mate behind.

Over to you

Stevens slipped remarkably easily once put under pressure by the young American (Singapore, Suzuka, Austin). Was instantly on pace with his more experienced team mate.

What’s your verdict on Alexander Rossi’s 2015 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “2015 F1 driver rankings #17: Alexander Rossi”

  1. and after a long time on the F1 periphery he has surely done enough to prove he deserves a full year in the car

    Just for beating Stevens, a driver who shouldn’t really be in F1? I don’t really agree. Stevens has a very mediocre junior resume, and is not in F1 on merit. As such I don’t consider beating him a performance that warrants being in F1.

    Now, I’m not saying Rossi doesn’t belong in F1 at all. But he has driven in top-tier junior series for years and ultimately I don’t think he has enough to show for it. There are a number of drivers who I feel would be more deserving to be in F1 before Rossi gets a drive. One being the guy that completely trashed him the past two years (well, one-and-a-half since Rossi didn’t drive two full seasons) in GP2.

  2. Thank you for the quote, @keithcollantine.

  3. So far this rating is going pretty well Keith. Rossi certainly did the best job of the Marussia drivers. And while he might not be right up there with guys like Ocon, Wehrlein, Magnussen or Vandoorne for hype or even talent, he did show he can do the job when given the opportunity.

    Manor would be better off if he stayed in the car than if they kept Stevens (or maybe the money Will brings makes up for it, what do I know), and given a full season, I am curious to see how he develops. But it would still be lovely to see a more inspiring driver there to look forward to.

  4. Ridiculous ranking, all three Marrusia drivers should be in bottom. They haven’t proven anything all year, 0 points to show for the full season. To rank for example Ericsson lower than 2 of 3 Marrusia drivers is just stupid, Ericsson has 8-9 against his team-mate in qualification and has shown greater race pace than Nasr most of the year. I wouldn’t rank Mehri higher than Maldonado either.

    1. The rankings are not on total performance, (which would be entirely unnecessary as that would just be the drivers championship), but rather relative performance, did they fail/meet/exceed expectations, how did they fare against their team-mate(s) etc…

      So, I think its fully justified for them to beat Maldonado.

  5. Maldonado atleast is A Gp2 champ and F1 winner..

    Hard to call final places, who knows how these drivers would fare in 3 second faster machineery..

    1. Maldonado can be fast at times, but the number of mistakes he makes vs 1 race win puts him on the bottom of the list.

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