While Caterham raised a few eyebrows with their announcement that Andre Lotterer would be driving in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Marussia seems to be following wuit with today’s announcement that American Formula 1 hopeful, Alexander Rossi, will be replacing Max Chilton for the race as well:
We’re providing Alexander Rossi with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.
Alexander will race alongside Jules Bianchi, substituting for Max Chilton while contractual issues are resolved.
Alexander joined the Team as Reserve Driver last month, the announcement coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has taken part in a number of Friday morning Free Practice 1 sessions with his previous team but this weekend will see him ‘racing’ a Formula 1 car for the first time.
John Booth │ Team Principal
“Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps. Naturally we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible, but for now we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action.”
Alexander Rossi │ Reserve Driver
“It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula 1 for the first time and I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team for the faith they are demonstrating in me. It’s a very big moment for me and there’s a lot to prepare in a short space of time, but on the other hand I have felt ready for this for quite a while now. It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can’t wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend.”
It’s an exciting opportunity for the American and his move from Caterham to Marussia came at exactly the right time. We’re not sure what contractual issues the team are having with Max Chilton but it’s usually in a driver’s contract that he gets to drive all grands prix so sitting him out is a big issue.