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Alexander Rossi: Formula 1 feeder series not good IndyCar training

Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi says racing in Formula 1 feeder series was "absolutely not" good preparation for an IndyCar career

The American spent seven seasons racing in European and international categories before switching to IndyCar last year.

He competed in Formula Master (pictured below), GP3, Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 - finishing second in the last of those in 2015, alongside starting five grands prix for the Manor F1 team - prior to his return to America.

Rossi won the Indy 500 at his first attempt and currently lies 10th in the points in his second IndyCar season with Andretti Autosport.

Asked if he thought his F1 feeder series background was good preparation, he replied: "No, absolutely not.

"I thought it was going to be; I came over thinking GP2 experience would be helpful, but in terms of the cars, there's no crossover at all.

"It's amazing how different an Indycar is from anything else on a racetrack."

Rossi said his experience in racing in GP2 was the best comparison, as that series - now rebranded as Formula 2 - uses a spec Dallara chassis, like IndyCar.

"[It] is great and super-competitive and the drivers are really aggressive, so from that aspect is good because the cars are so similar to each other in both formulas," he said.

"But in terms of how to be quick, driving-style and engineering the car, there are zero similarities."

ROSSI HOPES ALONSO SPARKS INTEREST

McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso will join Rossi in the Andretti team for this year's Indy 500, having made a shock decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix.

Rossi hopes Alonso's presence will help prompt more drivers to pick IndyCar if F1 proves unrealistic for them.

"I hope people realise how attractive IndyCar is and how good the racing is and, frankly, how much fun it is," he said.

"I'd like to think that if we get more coming, that we had something to do with it, but Fernando coming is very significant and emphasises the importance of the Indy 500 on a global scale.

"The fact that he's giving up Monaco to do it is huge feather in IndyCar's cap."

Rossi thinks the more experienced members of the Andretti team will be of greater help to Alonso than he will, despite being a recent F1-to-IndyCar convert himself.

"I think I can definitely help initially, so I was in the simulator with him and talking to him about fairly straightforward things that are fundamentally different," he said.

"But when it comes to talking about the speedway and getting into the driving side of it, Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and Marco [Andretti] are way more qualified than I am.

"I mean, I still rely on them for oval assistance, so I know their advice is good."

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