Rossi puts Honda on pole at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif.
The way Alexander Rossi sees it, he should be undefeated this season. Instead, he’s still looking for his first win of the year.
He wants it to come today on the downtown streets of Long Beach.
Rossi will start the race at the storied venue from the pole after a calculated late qualifying run proved his Honda from Andretti Autosport is the fastest car in the field headed into the race. Rossi waited on pit lane until the final minute in qualifying, and began his fast lap just as Josef Newgarden slapped the wall ahead of him.
Newgarden’s wounded car could have clogged Rossi’s path, but Rossi has been so fast all weekend nothing was stopping him. His lap of 1 minute, 6.5528 seconds claimed the top starting spot in Saturday’s qualifying session.
“We’ve been so strong, and we were strong here last year,” said Rossi, an Indianapolis 500 winner and one of the recent stars of reality TV show “The Amazing Race.”
Vettel takes pole as Ferrari bounces back
It’s still early, but it looks like Ferrari is back.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, where the German will be going for his third straight victory to open the Formula One season.
Vettel and Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start on the first row in Shanghai. Mercedes, which has dominated the last four seasons, will start on the second row with Valtteri Bottas ahead of No. 4 Lewis Hamilton — the defending and four-time series champion.
The famous Italian team has not won a season title in 11 years with Kimi Raikkonen champion in 2007. But Bottas is already hinting that rival Ferrari is the team to beat.
Bottas was asked if he was surprised by the Ferrari advantage.
“Yes we are,” he said. “We thought coming into today that we’d be fighting for the pole position. But it was definitely out of reach today.”