Rossi: A long time coming

Alexander Rossi may have finished his debut F1 grand prix in 14th place but the Manor driver did beat his more experienced team-mate on the night.

Agreeing a deal to race for Manor for five of this season's final seven races, Rossi was told of his Singapore drive just days before the Marina Bay event.

Despite the last minute preparations the 23-year-old put in an admirable performance at the Singapore GP.

He started 20th, behind team-mate Will Stevens, but when the 61 laps were over was in front of the British racer.

He said: "My Formula 1 debut has been a long time coming, and it has been pretty special.

"All the hard work to get here finally paid off and it was a fantastic feeling to be racing on the streets of Singapore in my first ever grand prix.

"It wasn't the most straight forward of races; I didn't get the best of starts, and as the procedure is quite new to me.

"I recovered quite well though and managed to get a good run into Turn 5, where I was able to get past my team-mate.

"I'm quite pleased, the pace on both the option and prime tyres was really good throughout the race."

Rossi, though, raised a few eyebrows when, in the midst of the second Safety Car period, the American did not unlap himself.

Despite being given the go-ahead to do so, he stayed third in the line but a full lap down on those around him.

Explaining what happened, he revealed: "Everything was going well until around the midpoint of the race, when I lost radio communications with pit wall.

"That was challenging because of the second Safety Car period and I wasn't able to receive instructions from the team about when to unlap myself, which may have cost us a position or more."

But, despite that, he reckons it was a "perfect end for a debut, I could not have asked for more.

"I'm very appreciative of all the effort put in by the team to make my grand prix debut a successful one."

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