Rossi keen to keep momentum going after F1 debut

© AP

Alexander Rossi heads into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix full of confidence after a successful grand prix debut with Manor in Singapore last Sunday.

Manor announced last week that Rossi had joined the team on a five-race deal, with his first coming in Singapore as he finished 14th.

The American finished ahead of teammate Will Stevens at the first attempt and put in a solid display despite having no radio contact for the second half of the race.

Rossi admitted that his first race in Formula 1 could not have gone much better, but he is now working on carrying this momentum through into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“My F1 racing debut in Singapore last weekend really couldn’t have worked out any better for me and I learned such a lot in a very short space of time,” Rossi said.

“I head to Suzuka eager to pick up where I left off and focused on taking things to the next level, with the benefit of a little more familiarization with the car and on a different type of race track.”

Rossi paid tribute to the team spirit at Manor ahead of what will be an emotional weekend at Suzuka, one year on from Jules Bianchi’s accident.

“One thing I didn’t need to learn – because I already knew – was what a great group of people I am fortunate enough to be able to call my team,” Rossi said.

“They made things very easy for me in Singapore and with a difficult weekend ahead for all of us, I’m hoping to do the same for them.”

Sunday’s race will be Rossi’s final race until the United States Grand Prix at the end of October, as he is missing the Russian Grand Prix to race in GP2 and keep his bid to become vice-champion alive.