After confirming Ryo Haryanto as their first official driver, pairing with Pascal Wehrlein and, thus, replacing all of the 2015 drivers (Will Stevens, Alexander Rossi and Robeto Merhi), Manor’s sports director Dave Ryan, has confirmed that Rossi will remain linked to the team.
With no drives in Formula 1 this year, Rossi moved to Indycar, signing a deal with Andretti Hera Autosport. Now, he will have to combine both competitions since he will attend 11 F1 GPs as reserve driver for Manor F1 Team. Only 5 of these 11 GPs coincide with Indycar season, but 2016 will be a hard season for Alexander. His duties with Manor as a reserve driver will start in Russia but he also will collaborate in the development of the car and in marketing tasks.
Rossi was excited: "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. 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. My schedule this year is demanding, but no more than a full-time F1 schedule. I will attend 11 grand prix, only five of which take place during the IndyCar season, and I am certainly used to the travel demands of the F1 calendar."
Manor’s racing director commented: "We need a safe pair of hands for the role, which always carries the potential to have to step up to race, but also someone who can really contribute to the development of the car. He did a great job when he drove for us in five of last season's races and he's a highly rated and valuable part of our line-up. He does have one heck of a schedule ahead of him and it's a commitment that only the most disciplined of drivers would be able to manage. We're confident he's the man for the job."
By Cristina DeLarge