For American Formula One race fans who are longing for the United States’ next best shot at F1 racing, their hopes may be with Alexander Rossi. The 22-year-old Auburn, CA native has been a reserve and test driver for the Caterham F1 team since March of 2012. It was announced yesterday that Rossi and the Malaysian team have parted ways.
The Caterham team itself had nothing but disappointment since its 2010 debut. Thus far in the team’s four and a half years of competition, they have yet to score a single world championship point. In F1, a team must place in the top-ten to receive points. Because of the struggles of the team’s performance, many personal changes as well as ownership changes have occurred over the last few years.
Most recently, founder Tony Fernandez stepped down and new ownership took into effect as of this month. It is unclear if this has any connection with Rossi’s departure but this is what the young American driver had to say on Twitter:
“It's been an emotional couple of years with @CaterhamF1 team. The highlight being driving with them in Austin last year. Now it's time to move on.”
Alexander Rossi practiced for the Caterham team on four occasions since 2012, which included stops at Spain, Canada, and the U.S. Rossi has stated his personal highlight of his time at the team was practicing at his home circuit in Austin last year.
Rossi also left his full-time GP2 team associated with Caterham. In the upcoming race weekend in Hockenheim, Germany, Rossi will be racing for the Campos Racing GP2 team, whose usual driver has a scheduling conflict.
With this news, the future chances of a possible American in F1 is in much doubt. It has been about seven years since an American competed in F1 racing, and that was with Scott Speed. Perhaps Rossi’s sights are set to make a return to F1 with the newly formed Haas Formula team in the coming years. An American driver and team combo would be a popular combination but only time will tell it this is even a possibility.