Alexander Rossi is back in the Manor Racing fold as Official Reserve Driver. Although he’ll be racing in the 2016 IndyCar Series, he will also be making history as the first driver to perform a Formula 1 role simultaneously.
Alex will attend 11 Grands Prix with Manor Racing, where he will work with the engineers and drivers to help develop the MRT05, contribute to team and partner marketing activities and be available to deputise should he be required to compete at short notice. His first F1 event will be the Russian Grand Prix in May.
Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“We’re very fortunate to have someone of Alex’s calibre in the role of Official Reserve Driver. The fact that he’s racing full time in the IndyCar Series this year was simply a challenge to be overcome; something we’re pretty good at. We need a safe pair of hands for the role, which always carries the potential to have to step up to race, but also someone who can really contribute to the development of the car. For Alex, F1 is still unfinished business. He did a great job when he drove for us in five of last season’s races and he’s a highly rated and valuable part of our line-up. He does have one heck of a schedule ahead of him and it’s a commitment that only the most disciplined of drivers would be able to manage. We’re confident he’s the man for the job.”
“I’ve invested most of my career in F1 and I’m not one to kick my heels and wait for things to happen, so this is my way of staying sharp and prepared. It was disappointing to miss out on a race seat with Manor Racing this year; everyone knows I pushed and worked hard for it. As Official Reserve Driver though, I have a very complimentary dual program at the highest level of motorsport. IndyCar Series is the premier category of open wheel racing in North America and extremely competitive. I also have the privilege of racing with a championship winning team, Andretti Autosport. I’m confident this experience will add to my role as a very important cog in an F1 team’s wheel. My schedule this year is demanding, but no more than a full time F1 schedule. I will attend 11 Grands Prix, only five of which take place during the IndyCar season, and I am certainly used to the travel demands of the F1 calendar. It’s great to be back with a team I know and with whom I share a mutual respect and passion for the sport we love.”
During a seat fitting for his newly announced seat with the Andretti Autosport Indycar team, Former Manor Grand Prix Team driver Alex Rossi took time out to share details on how the deal came together, what it feels like to be heading back to the United States and the excitement around participating in the 100th running of the Indy 500.
For full details on Rossi’s racing future with the #98 Andretti Autosport Indycar team click here
This weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix will mark Alexander Rossi’s last Formula One race of the 2015 season, with the American returning to GP2 with Racing Engineering for the closing rounds of the season in a bid to secure a strong 2nd position in the championship.
Rossi can return to GP2 with his head held high having exceeded any expectations the F1 world may have placed upon him having outperformed his team mate, Will Stevens, 4-0 in races and thus far sharing the honours in qualifying.
Rossi’s place on the F1 grid in Singapore, Japan, the United States, and Mexico has served to increase interest in the sport across the US both with fans and business. With a soon to be five races under his belt, a healthy sponsorship portfolio and an open door into the American market, Rossi must be a strong contender for a full time seat with the Manor F1 team for 2016.
The prospect of a wet weekend in Brazil may allow Rossi and the Manor F1 team to dare to dream of those elusive first points of the year.
In this short preview filmed for Mobil 1 The Grid, Rossi previews the Brazilian Grand Prix, talking through his experiences at the circuit dating back to 2008 and his time in Formula BMW:
To celebrate Alexander Rossi’s time with Manor F1 team in 2015, Mobil 1 The Grid have launched a competition to win a special edition cap signed by the driver, to enter the competition follow this link for more details.