Formula 1 may be coming to America – with two races within the next two years, no less – but it's been a long time since an American has taken on Formula One.

Scott Speed was the last standard-bearer The U.S. had in the series, but after showing early promise with Formula Renault 2000 titles in Europe, he failed to shine in his seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso, ultimately moving back Stateside to NASCAR. Mario Andretti and Phil Hill both took the trophy home for America, but those titles were decades ago. What America needs now is a new talent to waive the Stars and Stripes at the grand prix circuits of the world. And it could have just that in Alexander Rossi.

The twenty-year-old Californian has shown serious promise in the feeder series, winning the Formula BMW title and landing third in the critical Formula Renault 3.5 series where, with two wins, he emerged as this season's rookie of the year. Rossi was linked to the failed USF1 team, and in 2009 was awarded a test drive for BMW Sauber F1, making him the only American to currently hold the FIA Superlicense required to compete in Formula 1.

Now Rossi's coming back for another try at F1, participating in the young driver test at Abu Dhabi for the outfit currently known as Team Lotus (soon to be renamed Caterham). He'll already be on hand for the GP2 race the same weekend, in which he'll drive for Caterham's feeder squad, Team AirAsia. We'll keep an eye out to see how the young Yank does. Follow the jump for the press release.
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Rossi To Contest GP2 Finale in Abu Dhabi With Caterham Team AirAsia & Take Part in F1 Young Driver Test With Team Lotus
Thursday, November 03, 2011 6:04PM

Hingham, UK - 3rd November 2011
Alexander Rossi will have a busy end to the 2011 season, competing for Caterham team AirAsia in the forthcoming GP2 Finale in Abu Dhabi and then taking part in the F1 Young Driver Test for the GP2 team's senior counterparts Team Lotus.

The GP2 Series newcomer showed great pace in both recent GP2 tests at Barcelona and Jerez and finished the final test session P2 after just three days in the new car. The team have high hopes for the young American who adapted very quickly, proving he will be a strong contender in the GP2 2011 Finale race Abu Dhabi, 11th – 13th November. He will also be given the chance to take the next step up to F1 with one full day in the post-F1 race at the Yas Marina Circuit, taking place from 15th – 17th November.

Team Principal Riad Asmat: "We are very excited to have Alexander Rossi back onboard for the Abu Dhabi GP2 race and the subsequent F1 test. He worked very well with the GP2 team during the tests in Spain and it will be great to continue that working relationship in addition to giving him more exposure to the F1 environment with Team Lotus. He has shown maturity and confidence on track so the decision to put him in the car for the GP2 Finale was a simple one to make and we want to give him the chance to experience the pressure of an F1 environment so the young driver test is the natural place to give him that chance. We are all looking forward to both events and I am sure he will perform to the best of his ability whenever he is on track."

Caterham Team AirAsia Team Manager Phill Spencer: "I am very happy Alexander will be joining our GP2 team again in Abu Dhabi. He has shown great potential in the car and built up a good rapport with the team and especially his engineer during the post season tests. We have come a long way since the beginning of this year, it has been a roller coaster season with some highs and lows but I feel confident that with Alexander we can finish 2011 on a positive note."

Alexander Rossi: "I am very excited to finally announce I will be competing in Abu Dhabi with Caterham Team AirAsia and will have the chance to put more F1 miles on my CV with Team Lotus. After the positive Gp2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona I feel we have a good chance of a strong result in the GP2 races and I will definitely be going into the weekend fully focused and motivated for a race win - looking at the team's past results I see no reason why we can't achieve that. For the F1 test I will be looking to learn as much as possible, do the best job I can and soak up every minute, in and out of the car.

"The Yas Marina circuit is really pretty impressive. The track itself has some quite slow corners and not a great deal of overtaking opportunities, but it seems to combine a road course with a circuit course. In the first two sectors you can be quite brave with what you're doing but in the marina section there's very little run-off area as the walls are really close, so you have to restrain yourself somewhat. Every lap requires two different driving styles and that in itself makes it fun and very interesting to race for both the drivers and the engineers."


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  • 13 Comments
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 3 Years Ago
      also, so now I have 2 Rossis to cheer for? I m OK with this :)
      Hal Jordan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I couldn't be happier for Alexander Rossi. We get one shot at an American in F1 every 10 years unlike British and German drivers, who have a constant showing of 5 drivers each racing every year. Scott Speed had his shot with Toro Rosso - quite a slow car at the time. Now Rossi might get a shot with Lotus - which I would describe as exponentially slower relative to that Toro Rosso 4 years ago. In my opinion the three terribly slow teams aren't even worth consideration. He'll never get noticed there. Wait for an opportunity with Williams or Sauber or Toro Rosso - a car that doesn't have to get out of the way in every practice, quali and race. It just sucks that we get so few shots at this, and when it happens, it could end after bad luck, or a terrible car or an overbearing team boss like Franz Tost.
      erdero
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had the good fortune to meet Alexander earlier this year. It was a fundraising event (motorsports ain't cheap), and he and his father were on hand basically making a sales pitch. Unfortunately, I don't have many many thousands of dollars to spend, but I did get to talk to him for about 15 minutes or so. He's a genuinely likeable guy, and I've been rooting hard for him ever since. I'd be thrilled to have him represent us on such a high stage.
      xevious
      • 3 Years Ago
      Contrary to popular belief there a huge following of F1 in the US, but F1 isnt entirely forthcoming with coverage here like Nascar,. even Indy doesnt get the same kind of attention like nascar type events because Nascar;s coverage is all about advertising. With that being the case youl see TONS of Nascar events aired on as much channels as possible specifically for the commercial time. Speed (which was once Speed Channel) basicly sold its soul to nascar for big bucks. And its paid off for them but in turn made covverage for every other type of motoring even scarce to say the least, Thankfull they do spill in some F1 and Indy because the numbers do add up. F1 will have to make -some- changes to be successfull here in the states. And thats more track access for the fans and Much more coverage. Indy allows paddock access, track side viewing, even actual Pit access (for buck buck ticket buyers) F1 will at least need to get as friendly as Indy events or people that would attend Indy events (which would be the same F1 fans) would feel rudely locked out.. F1 is far more visceral than Indy, Its circuits are typically longer and the tech is Far more advance than indy, who's hold on tradition and not advancing the tech has been hurting it for many years. Indy may or may not like F1 on US ground in the long run. I say its a good thing, Unfortunately i think the two locations for the event was poor choices. F1 in jersey? it should be directly in NY but logistically i understand the problems, F1 in texas.. well i dont personal see texas as the cornerstone of america, but just as well i guess as we think of samura'a and ninjas in japan romans in italy or kings and queens in the UK they see cowboys and indians in the states.
        ewbrill
        • 3 Years Ago
        @xevious
        you make a ton of great points. i love F1 & Indy. What Indy has over F1 is the fan access, the pit pass and so on. i went to the Indy F1 race for years, i go to the Indy 500 and other indycar races at mid ohio and others. the indy drivers are always more out going and fan friendly, that hooks kids more then most adults probably but its nice to be able to do that. while i think Indy's spec formula has hurt it over the years, it bascially was forced on them, they didn't kick out other engine manuf. they just all left other than Honda. to get to the advanced tech of F1 would take so much money and as Indy car is trying to grow, that just wont happen yet or possibly ever. F1 will always be F1, most advanced cars out there, some of the greatest drivers, but Indy car has great drivers who just never had a fair shot or luck in an F1 but can drive the car well. It's a nice driection they are going in with the chassis and engines. while i wish there were more open with the rule book on the chassis, i dont think you can go from one chassis/aero design to 10-12 chassis in a single year. they need to grow but need to be able to allow all teams to grow. maybe in 4 or 5 years the sport will be big enough to allow for 2 or 3 chassis. there is room for both, i'll love both, most others will hate one or the other for whatever reason. haha.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        His parents are actually American. They were born here. His background is Italian, though.
      Junkyard Willie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to hear that his from California this time and not some small hick town. Make us Californian's proud!
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Junkyard Willie
        Scott Speed is also from California... In fact, there hasn't been an American F1 driver that isn't from the south, unless it's Parnelli Jones. And he was actually successful. Plus, he was from Texarkana, which isn't a small hick town.
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 3 Years Ago
      Scott Speed was a sad endeavor indeed.........He looked like he had the talent but I seem to remember him losing his chance by mouthing off at his team or boss or whatever............It would have been great if it was him, instead of Vettel that won the 08 Italian GP for Toro Rosso in the wet (or at least placed really well for the ex-Minardi outfiit
        heltersceltic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @snap_understeer_ftw
        Scott Speed was strangled by the team prinipal (Franz Tost) in the pits. In 2007, he battled from 18th to 9th in Monaco. He did show promise with that dog of a car but was replaced by Vettel- and that guy is pretty good.
      KingTito
      • 3 Years Ago
      I ran a bunch of races in the Skip Barber race series with this kid and I hope he makes it. I hope that he demonstrates some capability and gets picked up by a premier team. My concern is that his best years will be wasted on a bumbling team where he has to compete with pay to drive drivers and eventually loses his seat. He cannot follow the Scott Speed trek where now, despite his marketability and talent, he is start and parking cars. Rossi was fast as hell but a bit immature at first and it was fun seeing him develop before my eyes into the racer he has become.
      bleexeo
      • 3 Years Ago
      With two F1 races in the US let's hope that Rossi can finally get some bucks behind him and bring it to an F1 team so he can get a good seat. It's pretty ridiculous that an American nowadays can't get the funding to race competitively in F1 - maybe the time has finally come again. Let's hope so.
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