Alexander Rossi Makes His Long Awaited F1 Debut
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 16, 2015
Alexander Rossi will make his long-awaited and much-earned Formula One debut this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Rossi, who has served as test driver for Manor since September 2014, will be the first American to race in F1 since Scott Speed in 2007. He will be replacing Roberto Merhi as the new teammate for Great Britain’s Will Stevens.
So far Rossi has won two races this season in the GP2 Series, and currently remains in the championship fight. The 23-year-old will not compete in Russia and the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi. Roberto Merhi will return, leaving Rossi to concentrate on GP2 where he is standing second in the championship behind Belgium's Stoffel Vandoorne.
“I’m very thankful to race for the Manor Marussia F1 Team and for their continued belief in me,” said Rossi. “I’ve been prepared for this opportunity for quite a while now. Many will know from 2014 that the team and I already have a strong relationship and there’s a bit of unfinished business for me here.
“This is a small F1 team that has been through so much. They exemplify passion and true strength of character, and their comeback this season is extraordinary. I’m honored to be part of this legacy and their continued growth and success.
“I want to thank the management at Manor Marussia F1 Team and my team in the GP2 Series, Racing Engineering, for supporting both my F1 duties and the completion of an already strong GP2 campaign. Since Monza, my return to F1 came together rather quickly and seamlessly.
The Manor Marussia F1 team confirmed that the American would race in five of the seven remaining rounds of the 2015 Formula One season.
The collective support of both Manor and Racing Engineering was instrumental in making this opportunity possible.
“Singapore is a circuit I really enjoy and the timing of my debut could not be more perfect. There’s a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to a busy end to the 2015 season.”
Manor team principal John Booth predicted a bright future for their new recruit, who is targeting a possible drive for Haas, the American team due to make its F1 debut next year.
Booth said: "We are delighted to sign Alexander as race driver. He is widely regarded as a driver who is on the cusp of an exciting F1 career and his current form in the GP2 Series has done much to reinforce his clear potential."
Rossi starting at Singapore will be a huge test for the American driver, given the grueling heat at the Marina Bay circuit in September. The Singapore Grand Prix is generally regarded as the toughest race on the calendar for drivers.