In other good news for American interests in Formula 1, Alexander Rossi has been named reserve driver for Manor Racing and that has some folks wondering if the man that he lost the seat to, Rio Haryanto, is long for the world at Manor. Rossi said:
“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,” said Rossi.
“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.
“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.”
A lot of Americans were hoping Rossi would take the second seat at Haas F1 but the team chose differently. This left the Manor seat and there was some speculation that the team may use Hayryanto for the fly-away races with Will Stevens returning for the European leg and Rossi the final races in the Americas and Abu Dhabi.
Regardless of the speculation, it’s great to see Alexander keeping his nose firmly pressed on the shop window at Manor and ready to make the move. some have suggested that Rio’s performance in testing has the team worried and that Rossi’s appointment may be a safety valve should the Indonesian struggle to come to grips with F1.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT
It’s good that he has a foot in the door still in F1. I really wonder how much better racing as a whole would be if the reserve drivers in F1 actually populated other series. I think Indycar is one of the series that would really benefit (and will this year) from an influx of talent like that.
IndyCar Andretti Autosport hires Alexander Rossi to drive No. 98 car
Rio was a disappointment in Barcelona, no doubt. He’s an excellent driver (you don’t win in F2 without being quick) but some aspect of the chassis-engine relationship has caught him out. Rossi is worthy insurance.