Manor signs Alexander Rossi to race in five rounds in 2015

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by R.J. O'Connell, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell

    Manor F1 Team have announced that they have signed American driver Alexander Rossi to drive in five of the remaining seven rounds of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship, beginning this weekend in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    Rossi will drive alongside Manor's lead driver Will Stevens in Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and at his home race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, USA, where he'll be the first American driver to race on their home circuit in eight years.

    Roberto Merhi, who has driven the second Manor entry in the first twelve rounds of 2015, stands down as the second driver for now, but will return to the team to race at Russia and Abu Dhabi. This allows Rossi to close out his GP2 Series campaign with Racing Engineering - where he currently holds onto second place in the Drivers' Championship, with two wins, one feature race pole position, and six podiums.

    “I’m very thankful to race for the Manor Marussia F1 Team and for their continued belief in me," Rossi said in the team's official press release. "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."

    Last year, Rossi was expected to race for Marussia on at least three occasions in the second half of 2014 - but due to a number of factors, the arrangements all fell through. Just two weeks ago, Rossi was effectively ruled out of a race seat at American-based Haas F1 Team by team principal Gunther Steiner.

    “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."

    Team principal John Booth added: “Signing Alexander is a continuation of our proud record of providing young drivers with the opportunity to showcase their talents. We believe he will do a great job and look forward to seeing him race for the first time this weekend in Singapore. It is also fantastic news for the sport that it will have an American driver again, particularly with the United States Grand Prix on our horizon and now two races in South America, in Mexico and Brazil. I know Alexander is very excited about that and we look forward to providing him with the opportunity to show the American public what he can do."

    “While Roberto is obviously disappointed, he understands that this decision is in the long-term interests of the team and we thank him for his professionalism. No decision has been made regarding our 2016 driver line-up and we will continue to evaluate our options during the remainder of the season.”

    Rossi, who turns 24 next Friday, will become the first American driver to race in Formula 1 since former Toro Rosso driver Scott Speed in 2007 - and only the third in the last twenty-five years, after Michael Andretti raced for McLaren in 1993. He is a former Formula BMW champion, and has won races in the International Formula Master series, GP3 Series, Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and GP2 Series over the last six years; he also raced for Greaves Motorsports in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, and served as a test driver for Caterham F1 Team from 2012 until mid-way through the 2014 season - as did his new teammate Stevens.
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  2. TobiasR

    Czarleeese Baygio Premium

    This is great to see. Rossi has been doing very well in GP2 for the last couple of races. He's ready for F1.
  3. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

    It is also pretty clear, that this deal is made to guarantee Rossi a SuperLicense for 2016, in case he doesn't get a top two finish in GP2 this year.
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  4. Martin Maaskant

    Martin Maaskant

    F1 really needs more teams. A lot of talent which belong in F1 but not so much seats. Good thing for Rossi. I saw him win his GP2 race at Spa. Too bad Mheri has to sit a few races out.
  5. the_sigman


    Something will go wrong:
    Spa 2014: Rossi in for Chilton: Chilton returns

    Sochi 2014: Rossi in for Bianchi: Marussia races with one car.

    Ausrin 2014: Rossi going to race: Marussia withdraws.

    Singapore 2015: Rossi in for Merhi: ??

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  6. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    I think it's a good call from Manor! The guy is very talented

    Its all looking up for them at the moment. With the possibility of a Mercedes engine, and some good drivers maybe being signed with a Merc deal, I can see them maybe becoming a midfield team in the near future :thumbsup:
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  7. Dave R

    Dave R

    Very pleased with this news
  8. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    RaceDepartment Founder Staff Premium

    Excellent driver, looking forward seeing him on track
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  9. ThatRacingGuy

    I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened

    Good to hear
    But the only way we can see his true talent (in f1) is how many laps he's behind at the end because he's driving for the worst team out there at the moment
  10. Kurei


    As a fellow American, I'm happy to hear this, always wanted to see an American mix-it-up in F1*.
    *(while I'm actually paying attention)

    Rossi does bring a good mix of experience with him it seems, Singapore will be interesting to say the least.
  11. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill

    I want to see him do well, but being beaten out by a half second by Stevens (who I don't consider particularly swift) in Q1 is not a promising start. Hopefully he can get a better feel for it during the race...
  12. Joel


    Well done to the lad
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