Alexander Rossi has joined the Marussia F1 team as the official reserve driver of the squad.
The California native has switched to the Anglo-Russian squad following his split from the Caterham F1 Driver Development Programme earlier this month.
A race winner in both Formula Renault 3.5 and the GP2 Series, Rossi nevertheless struggled this season to score points with a Caterham GP2 team that has not held on to pre-season form.
Despite this, Rossi feels confident that he can prove a top prospect with the Marussia squad, who currently reside 9th in the Formula One Constructors’ Championship.
“Today is a good day and next step in my Formula 1 career,” said Rossi in a press release today. “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.”
Rossi also noted that the timing with which he joined Marussia is crucial, as it will allow the 22-year-old several weeks to integrate into the team without interruption. Although a reserve driver for the moment, the American still has eyes on the big prize. “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.” As with Caterham, Rossi noted that there may be plans to compete in at least one Friday morning practice session this season.
The past twelve months have proved key for Marussia. After overhauling Caterham for 10th place in the 2013 World Championship, the team are currently holding steady in 9th following Jules Bianchi’s captured two points at Monaco in May.
Upon the announcement Marussia Team Principal, John Booth, commented, “[Alexander] 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,” he said, adding: “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.”
It is unknown at this whether Rossi will compete in any further GP2 Series rounds.