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.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).