Manor has retained Alexander Rossi as its official reserve driver for 2016 following his brief stint in their race line-up.
Rossi will attend 11 F1 races with the team this year beginning with the Russian Grand Prix in May. He has already been confirmed as part of Andretti’s line-up in the IndyCar championship which starts this weekend.
“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.
The 24-year-old started five races for the team at the end of last season before being replaced by Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto.
“It was disappointing to miss out on a race seat with Manor Racing this year,” he said. “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.”
“My schedule this year is demanding,” he added, “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.”
Neither of Manor’s race drivers have any grand prix experience. Racing director Dave Ryan said the team “needed 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”.
Rossi “did a great job when he drove for us in five of last season’s races”, Ryan added.
See the updated list of 2016 F1 drivers and teams
2016 F1 season
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- F1’s TV audience decline stopped in 2016
- Brawn among key F1 hires announced by Liberty
- Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016
- Brundle reveals Monaco GP heart attack