American Rossi takes Mehri’s seat at Manor

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We were just lamenting the fact that Haas F1 may not go with American driver for 2016 but then things could change if today’s announcement bears fruit.

Manor announced that American driver Alexander Rossi will be taking Roberto Mehri’s place as a driver for the next 5-7 grands prix. This is huge news for the American and could improve his standing for a potential drive in 2016. Rossi said:

“I’m very thankful to race for Manor 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 honoured to be part of this legacy and their continued growth and success.

“Singapore is a circuit I really enjoy, and the timing of my debut could not be more perfect.

“There’s a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to a busy end to the 2015 season.”

Rossi has been part of the team as a reserve driver but a full race seat must mean that someone, and I’m not saying who, has found some serious cash to get a drive.

It’s great new for those who were looking for Rossi as a potential at Haas F1 because more experience that is current in F1 is vital to the team’s ability to develop their 2016 challenger. Being American is an added bonus.

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runnah

Wow what weird timing, mid-season and all, like you said money must’ve been delivered by the truckload.

Andreas Möller

“Rossi has been part of the team as a reserve driver but a full race seat must mean that someone, and I’m not saying who, has found some serious cash to get a drive.”

Or that Mehri’s supply of cash has dried up. Or a combination of both :) Either way, it’s interesting news. I wonder what – if any – effect this has on the Haas lineup for 2016.

charlie white

The cynic in me came to the same conclusion as NC. Kudos to Alex for sticking it out and keeping the faith. After being jerked around by Caterham and this team(under past management), I would had turned my back on F1 and deleted contacts out of my phone. I guess 5 races is enough to qualify for a proper super license in 2016.

Tim C

Could it be that Haas is funding this to see if Rossi can hold his own in F1?

Derek

I didn’t think of it this way. It makes for a much cheaper way for Haas to gauge him as a future driver. If Haas is financially invested into Rossi, I wonder if that would incentivise Manor to keep Ferrari engines, so that the works team and Haas could benefit more from more track time for the engine and driver(s).

Derek

Silly season keeps on giving.