Manor Racing have confirmed Alexander Rossi as their official reserve driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season.
Rossi completed five races for Manor in the 2015 season replacing Roberto Merhi in the team’s driver line-up. The American missed out on a race seat with Manor for the 2016 season after the Banbury outfit signed Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto.
Rossi will be racing in the 2016 Indycar Series after being signed by Andretti Autosport, and alongside his driver role in Indycar he will attend eleven Grand Prix where he will work with the engineers and drivers to help develop the MRT05 and contribute to team and partner marketing activities. He will be making history as he will become the first driver to perform a Formula 1 role alongside Indycar.
It was disappointing for Rossi to miss out on an F1 seat with Manor for this season but he is confident that this experience will add to his role as a very important cog in an F1 team’s wheel.
“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. 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.”