After the race was red-flagged due to rain on Sunday, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was postponed until Monday morning. Although the race restarted with clouds and sunshine, Alexander Rossi took a risky gamble when the rain once again began falling on lap 66.
“It definitely wasn’t our best day,” said Rossi. "Once the race got going, we were on the wrong tire for the one-stop plan, and couldn’t make the fuel work, so we switched back to a two-stop strategy. It was looking okay, but we tried to survive the rain probably one lap too long and we lost time to guys that had already switched to rain tires. We ended up 11th. It wasn’t a great day from a performance or strategy standpoint.”
Qualifying eighth on Saturday, Rossi quickly gained two spots during the first few laps in the rain on Sunday. The race, originally scheduled for 90 laps, rolled off as a timed race under yellow flag conditions before cars took the green flag on Lap 2. Racers made it to Lap 19 and saw two caution periods for on-track incidents before the first red flag flew due to decreased visibility and heavy rain. A brief attempt was made to return to racing, but the final red flag came again on Lap 23 with 00:44:16 on the session clock. Rossi had moved up to fourth.
"I think definitely the right decision was made to red flag the race (on Sunday),” said Rossi. "It's never the result that you want, but safety is obviously a priority. I think everyone did a good job considering the conditions of looking out for each other. Not being able to see is not doing anybody any good."
Despite the mid-pack finish on Monday, Rossi remains second in the Championship. He trails Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, today’s race winner, by 13 points. Sebastian Bourdais is third for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan. For full results of the race, click HERE.
The IndyCar family now heads home to Indy, as teams and drivers prepare for the "month of May." The Indianapolis Motor Speedway kicks things off with the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 12.
"It’s a day that we’ll certainly be putting behind us as soon as possible and look forward to Indy GP where we had a really strong test a couple weeks ago,” said Rossi. "It should be a good weekend for us. I’m excited to get to the track for the month, and of course excited to get on that oval too."
Practice sessions for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 begin on Tuesday, May 15, with qualifying weekend set for May 19 and 20. The exciting month concludes with the 500-mile race slated for Sunday, May 27. For a complete schedule of events at IMS, click HERE.