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Alex Rossi finally gets his F1 race chance - replaces Merhi at Manor

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Alex Rossi finally gets his F1 race chance - replaces Merhi at Manor
Sep 16, 2015, 4:13 PM

Alexander Rossi will this weekend become the first American F1 driver since Scott Speed in 2007 to race in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Alexander Rossi will this weekend become the first American F1 driver since Scott Speed in 2007 to race in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Manor says it has signed Rossi as Race Driver for five of the seven remaining rounds of the 2015 season, competing alongside Will Stevens.

"Rossi is currently lying in second place in the 2015 GP2 Series, with three rounds of the championship remaining. The team is happy to support him in that battle, therefore Alexander will race in Singapore, Japan, the US, Mexico and Brazil, but he will not take part in the Russian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. Roberto Merhi will join Fabio Leimer as an Official Reserve Driver but he will drive in Sochi and at Yas Marina," said the Manor statement.

Team boss John Booth said that the move was in the long term interests of the team,

"While Roberto (Mehri) 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" he said.

Rossi had hoped to be in contention for a seat with the new US-based Haas team entering F1 next season, but recently the signs have been that it will line up with Esteban Gutierrez and either Romain Grosjean, if he becomes available or possibly Kevin Magnussen.

This move indicates that Rossi has decided to grasp the nettle, commit some budget and showcase his talents in an F1 car, having competed well and won races in GP2 this season. He cannot do GP2 again, at 23 he has to move forward in his career and get into F1, where he has been a reserve driver for Caterham and Marussia in the past.

Alex Rossi

“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."
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Series Formula 1