Caterham has confirmed that reserve driver Alexander Rossi will get the chance to take part in the first free practice session ahead of both Formula 1 grands prix in North America this year.
Rossi is currently the only American driver to hold an FIA superlicense that is required to race in Formula 1, and has been an integral part of Caterham’s team since 2012. Last year, he balanced his duties with a GP2 campaign that saw him finish as the top rookie and claim one race win.
This season, he will again get the chance to put in some laps in front of his home fans at Austin at the end of October, as well as running in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
“Each time I step into F1 machinery there is an important job to do,” Rossi said. “Montreal and Austin are important races for me and I want to thank Caterham for the opportunity to continue my development to a full time race seat in F1.
“My GP2 program combined with my F1 team reserve driver duties give me invaluable insight and experience for my future.”
Rossi is looking forward to finally getting behind the wheel of the CT05 car, and it will be made all the sweeter by the fact that there will be a number of American fans in Montreal to see him do so.
“I’ve built up a lot of hours in the F1 simulator already this year, but Montreal will be my first visit behind the wheel of the CT05 on track,” he said. “I look forward to a positive runplan for both the Canadian and USA sessions.”
Last year, Rossi’s practice time in Montreal was limited because of the weather, whilst practice in Austin was delayed as there was no medical helicopter on site.
Following the announcement of Haas Formula earlier this month, Rossi will undoubtedly be looking to impress during practice in order to secure a seat with the American team, which could possibly line up on the grid in Australia next March.