American driver Alexander Rossi is set to be denied his Formula 1 debut for a third time as Marussia faces missing the United States Grand Prix in Austin next weekend.
Rossi has been knocking on the door of F1 for some time, spending the past three years in a reserve role at Caterham and then Marussia.
The Californian left Caterham back in July, but soon moved into a similar role at Marussia where he was scheduled to take part in a number of practice sessions from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards.
However, he was set to receive a surprise debut at Spa-Francorchamps when regular driver Max Chilton was benched for financial reasons. The team confirmed on the Thursday of the Belgian GP that Rossi would race in his place alongside Jules Bianchi.
Marussia then reneged on its plans though after Chilton threatened legal action, meaning that Rossi only took part in practice as planned.
Rossi’s next chance for a race start came at the Russian Grand Prix. Following Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix that left him with severe head injuries, Rossi was put on standby to substitute for the Frenchman in Sochi. Ultimately, the team opted to run with just one car, leaving Bianchi’s ready to race, waiting for its driver on the other side of the garage.
Marussia had not confirmed whether it would be racing with both cars in Austin, but if it intended to do so, Rossi would have made his full Formula 1 debut at his home grand prix. Alas, the team’s financial problems mean that it will not be racing until Abu Dhabi at the earliest, meaning that Rossi’s own F1 hopes have been put on hold yet again.
Rossi is known to have held preliminary talks with Gene Haas about a role with Haas F1 Team for the 2016 season, but for the time being, the wait for an American driver to grace the grid continues.