Alexander Rossi, Caterham part ways

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American Formula One hopeful Alexander Rossi has confirmed a departure from Caterham, where he won’t be testing for the Caterham F1 Team nor racing with the Caterham Racing GP2 outfit for the remainder of the 2014 season.

Rossi, beyond his GP2 commitments, was also due to participate in FP1 at Austin this year after doing so last year, and also at Canada in both 2013 and 2014. He had just scored his first points of the GP2 season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last month.

In a statement posted to his official Facebook page, Rossi said the timing was right to move given the ownership change at Caterham, and that other options will work better for his European feature.

“I will no longer be racing for Caterham as of today. It’s been an emotional couple of years with the team, the highlight being driving with them in Austin last year. Now it’s time to move on,” he said in the statement.

He added, “My goal is to be in F1 and add value to the sport and I’m very optimistic about my next steps; we have a great opportunity to grow the sport in the States and I believe the timing is perfect.”

My MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith caught up with Rossi at Canada earlier this year; I last spoke to him at Daytona, when he was part of the lineup in the DeltaWing coupe for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Things have of course changed for the 22-year-old American since.

Rossi’s next move will be an intriguing one to watch. The prospect of an American driving for the new American F1 team, Gene Haas’ Haas Formula, is tantalizing.

But still, Rossi remains the closest American driver on the doorstep of F1, and the hope is that this news keeps him well-positioned rather than removes his best opportunity.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.