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Rossi hopeful of strong showing in final F1 race of 2015

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Alexander Rossi’s five-race stint with Manor will come to an end in Brazil on Sunday, but the American is hopeful of putting in another strong display to close out his Formula 1 commitments in 2015.

Rossi became the first American in eight years to start a grand prix when he joined Manor in Singapore, agreeing a five-race deal that would also allow him to continue with Racing Engineering in GP2, F1’s premier feeder series.

Rossi matched Manor’s best result of the season by finishing 12th in the United States Grand Prix last month, and is now hoping to wrap up a 5-0 clean sweep of victories over teammate Will Stevens in his final grand prix of the year.

“Brazil is my final race of 2015 for the team and I really hope it will be as positive as the past four have been for me,” Rossi said.

“I’m very satisfied with my performances thus far, so we will need to keep the momentum going to end on a really strong note. This is a track that I’ve raced and won on in the past, so I will be looking forward to hitting the ground running on Friday.

“The weather looks like it will be a variable again, as is so often the case with this circuit, but I have grown to be quite comfortable with the car in all conditions, especially after the past two race weekends.

“I can’t wait to get out there on Friday and resume the on-track battle with Will for one final time this year.”

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

VEACH OUT: Driver elects to vacate seat for rest of season

“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”