American fans of Formula One racing have a new team to root for as the Marussia F1 Team has named Alexander Rossi as its official reserve driver for the remainder of the season.
The 22-year-old native of Auburn, California, has advanced through the single-seater ranks since winning the Skip Barber Western Regional championship and placing third nationally in 2006. He won the Formula BMW Americas title in 2008 and proceeded to Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 where he competes currently, winning races in both series. For the past three seasons he's driven for Caterham, racing for its GP2 team and acting as test driver for its F1 team. Once the team was sold, however, Rossi jumped ship. He's driving for the championship-winning Campos Racing team in GP2 and just announced his signing with Marussia on Thursday.
The move is only a minor step up for Rossi as the Marussia team is only two points ahead of Caterham this season, but will hopefully lead to the young Californian getting some seat time in an official test session or two – if not being called up to replace Max Chilton or Jules Bianchi in the race seat at some point before the end of the season or maybe getting promoted to a full-time drive for next year's championship.
Rossi is the first American to break into F1 racing since Scott Speed, who left the series in 2007. The last American driver to win a grand prix was Mario Andretti back in 1978.
Related GalleryAlexander Rossi at Marussia
IN RESERVE. Alexander Rossi joins the Marussia F1 Team as Official Reserve Driver
Thursday 24 July 2014, 17.15hrs CET
The Marussia F1 Team is pleased to announce that Alexander Rossi has been appointed to the role of Official Reserve Driver for the remainder of the 2014 season.
The 22 year old American joins the Team with immediate effect from this weekend's Formula 1 Pirelli Magyar Nagydíj 2014.
Alexander has spent the past two seasons in the role of reserve driver for the Caterham F1 Team, whilst also competing in the GP2 Series.
With the Marussia F1 Team, he will be on hand throughout the season to deputise for either race driver in the event that they are unable to compete.
John Booth │ Team Principal
"We are very pleased to welcome Alexander to the Marussia F1 Team in the role of Official Reserve Driver. He is a proven talent whom we have observed in GP2 and we have also been impressed by his performances during Friday morning free practice sessions over the past two seasons. The US is an exciting market for the sport and Alexander has a great deal of support there, so it is nice to develop new links to that audience. Alexander will be an integral part of the Team, immersing himself in our engineering activity so that he is fully prepared should he ever be required to deputise for one of the race drivers."
Alexander Rossi │ Official Reserve Driver
"Today is a good day and next step in my Formula 1 career. Since my initial discussions with the Marussia F1 Team management, I've felt right at home. I'm looking forward to working with the Team in Hungary and building for the rest of the season. The timing of my affiliation with the Team is perfect, especially beginning in Hungary before the summer break. My goal is Formula 1, and I'm delighted to be immersed into the Team as Official Reserve Driver, where I have the opportunity to prepare for this next step, with plans to drive in Free Practice 1 this season.
"Marussia is in an exciting place right now and the progress at the team is clear for all to see. I'm thrilled that now I have the chance to be part of that journey, to progress and play a useful role in the development of the Team. I want to thank Marussia F1 Team for the opportunity this season."