Rossi gets GP2 seat with Caterham

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Two Americans competed in the 2013 FIA GP2 Series opener at Malaysia, and at least two will still be in seats this weekend in Bahrain.

Caterham Formula One reserve driver Alexander Rossi has been confirmed to replace his fellow reserve driver Ma Qing Hua in Caterham’s GP2 seat for the rest of the 2013 championship. Rossi’s teammate will be Spaniard Sergio Canamasas.

Rossi and Jake Rosenzweig, of the Barwa Addax Team, are the two Americans set to race this weekend.

Conor Daly will not be reprising his role with the new Hilmer squad, as he’ll be in Long Beach, Calif. this weekend for the IZOD IndyCar Series race and embedded with the A.J. Foyt Racing team ahead of his Indianapolis 500 debut.

A Caterham team release didn’t indicate whether Rossi, who was scheduled and excited for his first free practice one outing of the year in Bahrain, would still do so. Caterham announced Heikki Kovalainen would perform those duties in Bahrain and Spain, and it stands to reason Caterham will only replace one of its drivers rather than both.

Ma, meanwhile, has been dropped as an official Caterham reserve driver after a difficult outing in free practice one at the Chinese Grand Prix. An announcement of his revised plans will be made later.

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”