Alexander Rossi set to substitute for Bianchi at Russian GP

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Alexander Rossi could be set to make his Formula 1 grand prix debut this weekend as a substitute for Jules Bianchi at Marussia following the Frenchman’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Bianchi is currently in a critical condition after suffering severe head injuries in an accident towards the end of the race at Suzuka, and has since been confirmed as suffering a diffuse axonal injury. The Formula 1 paddock has arrived in Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix under a cloud as thoughts remain with Bianchi at this time.

Marussia is yet to formally confirm that reserve driver Rossi will make his F1 debut, but he has been named on the entry list for this weekend’s race as submitted to the FIA.

According to Autosport, the team will make a final decision on Friday whether it will race with two cars or not.

Hailing from California, Rossi will become the first American to race in Formula 1 since Scott Speed in 2007. He has enjoyed a number of practice run-outs for both Caterham and Marussia over the past three years, and was due to race in Belgium before the Max Chilton forced Marussia to renege on its decision.

These are far from ideal circumstances for Rossi to be making his debut under, but he will be looking to impress in Sochi if the team does opt to run both cars in the race.

Here’s the FIA release confirming Rossi’s entry for this weekend.