© Getty Images

Rossi in good position for Manor seat in 2016

Leave a comment

Alexander Rossi believes that he is in a good position to remain with Manor Marussia Formula 1 Team in 2016 and keep his full-time seat in the sport.

Rossi become the first American driver to race in F1 since 2007 at last month’s Singapore Grand Prix, and will this weekend fly the flag in front of his home fans at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Rossi revealed in his NBC Sports blog earlier this week that plans were in the works to race for the team in 2016, and he elaborated on this during Thursday’s FIA press conference at the Circuit of The Americas.

“In terms of next year, I’m obviously quite keen to be in a full-time seat next year, which is apparent,” he said.

“The position that I’m in with the team at the moment is good and we’re looking to put that all together for next year.”

Rossi spoke of the reaction that he has met after ending America’s long driver drought, and made no secret of his pride ahead of his home race weekend.

“I think, first of all, that the reaction has been very positive, which is what we wanted to see,” Rossi said. “Of course there is pride that goes along with it, but that started in Singapore and Japan as well.

“Obviously to be here at home means a big deal, but at the same time we have a job to do and very clear objectives to meet. I’m looking forward to it; there are a lot of friends and family that will be coming this weekend.

“But I think once you get in the car and on track you appreciate the fact that there is a bigger picture.”

Rossi’s is set to quite literally carry the star-spangled banner this weekend, it would appear, with F1 pit reporter Jennie Gow tweeting an image of the Manor’s updated endplate design for the US GP.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).