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Rossi hoping to run in most practices including Austin (VIDEO)

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Alexander Rossi is hoping to take part in a practice session for most of the remaining grands prix on the 2014 Formula 1 calendar following his move to Marussia.

The American F1 hopeful parted company with Caterham earlier this month, appearing to dent his hopes of moving up to a full-time seat in the sport in the future. However, he is delighted to have swiftly jumped ship to Marussia, with whom he hopes to enjoy more running.

“This past week has been very difficult for a lot of reasons, a lot of changes have gone down,” he explained to NBCSN. “I left Caterham about ten days ago, did a GP2 race with a different team in Germany, and now here we are in Budapest back in the Formula 1 paddock with Marussia. I’m really thrilled to be here, so thankful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to be in the car.

“It came about quite quickly if I’m honest. When I announced my departure from Caterham, we got a phone call from Marussia kind of within 48 hours, and they expressed an interest in having me as part of the team, and it became about making it work and trying to make it happen.

“It was something quite good for me, and there’s a possibility I might be back in that car. however, the focus is now to be back in the F1 car as soon as possible.”

Rossi said that he is hoping to run in most of the free practice one sessions until the end of the season for Marussia, replacing either Max Chilton or Jules Bianchi each time.

“The plan is to do the majority of them from here on out,” he explained. “I’ll be missing this one unfortunately due to just the timing of everything. Obviously the announcement just came out about ten minutes ago so to get a seat made and to get into the car for tomorrow is impossible, but definitely I’ll be in the car for Spa.”

Rossi also confirmed that he will be definitely taking part in practice for the United States Grand Prix, meaning that there will be an American running in an F1 car at the Circuit of the Americas later this year.

“That was kind of my biggest fear more than anything, was the fact that when we left Caterham, if there wasn’t another F1 team on the table that I wouldn’t be able to drive in Austin and I wouldn’t be able to be an American on the grid,” Rossi revealed. “That weighed heavily on me, but now that this deal is done, that’s definitely going to be my highlight again and I can’t wait to go back.”

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball
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MotorSportsTalk continues its look through the driver-by-driver recaps following the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, with a look at Charlie Kimball, who finished 12th this year.

Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

  • 2014: 14th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 6th, 1 Podium, 4 Top-5, 10 Top-10, 0 Laps Led, 16.3 Avg. Start, 12.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 12th Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 6th, 2 Podiums, 3 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 21 Laps Led, 13.3 Avg. Start, 13.1 Avg. Finish

“Super Chuck” – as NBCSN’s Townsend Bell has called him in the past – had another typically “Super Chuck” season. He produced some dizzying heights, made a few mistakes, and posted a lot of consistent runs in the middle that ultimately netted him 12th in points for the season.

We wrote last year that one of the areas where Kimball most needed to improve was his qualifying, and a three-spot year-to-year gain from 16.3 to 13.3 delivered that improvement. Problem was, in a Chevrolet top-heavy grid, Kimball might have been qualifying better, but he was qualifying behind at least seven or eight more fancied Chevrolet runners. In a Honda, you worry if Kimball’s grid positions this year would have dipped into the low teens or high 20s, rather than only just missing advancing into Q2 as was often the case.

While Barber and Mid-Ohio had served as his standout races in the past, the undoubted highlight of Kimball’s 2015 season was his quiet early – then dynamic late – drive to third in the Indianapolis 500. It was a performance that was particularly impressive given he was up against past series champions Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Scott Dixon, who were all vying for the win. Another podium at Sonoma was his first on a road or street course since Detroit race two in 2014, and put him third in points in the two double points races for the year.

But mistakes occurred all too regularly in the 14 standard points events, where he ranked 14th among all drivers. Contacting Dixon in Detroit, surviving a nightmare weekend in Iowa with multiple incidents, and coming together with Graham Rahal in St. Petersburg – even though Rahal was assessed a penalty for avoidable contact – were all moments he’d like to have back.

Kimball’s five years into his IndyCar career and there’s enough evidence to suggest now his breakout 2013 season was an outlier, not the norm. But seasons like 2014 and 2015 prove he still has plenty in hand to cut it at this level, and together with his entire Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team, an overall asset to the sport.