Haas missed strong US opportunity, says Rossi

Alexander Rossi says he has no ill feelings with the Haas F1 team not choosing him for 2016, but believes the American squad missed out on a good opportunity to run a native driver.

Rossi says he was not surprised when Haas announced Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez as their two drivers for next season earlier this month.

"I understand that Formula 1 is a business as much as it is a sport," the Californian told Motorsport.com when asked about Haas' decision.

"So, they were ok and felt with their kind of business model, it is the direction that they went and I have respect for that.

"At the same time I think there could have been a lot of opportunity in terms of having an American driver in an American team.

"But who knows what’s going to happen in the future and I have a good relationship with Gene [Haas] and Gunther [Steiner], and I wish them the best of luck for next year and I hope to see America represented even more."

The 24-year-old revealed that by the time of the Italian Grand Prix he knew that he was no longer in the running, but added it was not a setback.

"The discussions were never really very in depth and so it wasn’t anything that it was a massive shock or setback to me," said Rossi.

"If anything, it opened the door and it allowed me to go race in Singapore and establish my relationship with Manor."

Talks with Manor positive

With the season coming near close, Rossi, who competed in five grand prix's with Manor, is looking to secure a drive for next year with the British outfit.

"I am talking quite a bit with Manor and things are looking very positive and I think we would both like to try and put something together for next year," said Rossi when asked about his chances.

"But as it is always, F1 is a difficult environment, with the last two (remaining) seats but things are looking very positive for 2016," he added.

Despite the limited seats for 2016, Rossi insisted that F1 is all he is thinking right now, ruling out a switch to the likes of the World Endurance Championship or Formula E.

"F1 is my full focus at the moment. I have had a great relation with [Manor] and we have done a lot of positive things in a year of working together," the 24-year-old said.

"I think we could do very good things, so looking forward to next year."

When asked if the departure of Graeme Lowdon and John Booth from the team will hamper his chances, the American stated that it had "no effect" on his talks with the team.

Talking further about his future, Rossi revealed that he has options elsewhere should a F1 deal fail to materialise, and that he is also not closing the door on GP2 yet.

Strong GP2 campaign

Set to finish second in the GP2 standings with Racing Engineering, Rossi said he is pleased with how his season has gone.

"[Stoffel] Vandoorne has been pretty phenomenal this year so it was always going to be difficult to beat him," he said.

"Halfway through, we had some things which didn’t go quite our way, but we are still quite a good position to get second in the championship, which I think all in all is a good result."

After a successful 2015, the American thinks he has nothing else to prove to get an F1 drive.

"I think I have proven what I need to do in GP2, I have come over with three race wins and seven podiums and things have been quite positive," he continued.

"And F1 was quite good, we were able to be in front Will [Stevens] in the qualifying and race battles which is a very positive thing.

"It was a good representation of my speed in the F1 car, coming into the season kind of three-quarters away and so am very pleased about it."

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , GP2
Drivers Alexander Rossi
Teams Manor Racing , Haas F1 Team , Racing Engineering
Article type Interview