But from a “where does Rossi land now” standpoint, suddenly, he has multiple spots that could make sense in theory.
In no particular order:
The No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda. Rossi had a seat fit with the team last year and as he’s documented, was close to agreeing to a deal with the team before the last minute save to his European career came from Racing Engineering in GP2. It’s certainly possible Rossi could land here; however, with Coyne an expert at keeping his cards close to the vest and with multiple drivers in the frame for the second seat in what could be either a single driver or ride-share situation, it’s not at all guaranteed.
The No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet (road and street courses). Another workable puzzle piece here. If ECR needs a driver with some budget for the road and street course races to complement team owner and driver Carpenter, who races the oval events, Rossi could be the guy. He’s said previously that he’s not a big fan of ovals (see this 2013 F1 Fanatic article for more), citing the risk being too high. Carpenter wants to keep this car on the grid full-time and this could be a solution.
The No. 98 Andretti Autosport (formerly BHA) Honda. There’s no immediate linkage to this Honda team as there was with Coyne, but given it’s an Andretti entry, it’s a possible race-winner at nearly every event (not that Coyne and Carpenter aren’t, but this should be more regularly in contention).
Manor’s WEC Oreca 05 Nissan. Remember Graeme Lowdon and John Booth? Their new adventure was revealed two weeks ago for the FIA World Endurance Championship, a Manor Oreca 05 Nissan in LMP2, and they’ll have recently worked with Rossi in F1 last year. Tor Graves is that team’s only confirmed driver. Rossi has sporadic sports car experience, having driven at Le Mans in 2013 and Daytona a year later.
He could also land somewhere else in sports cars but if I were a betting man, I’d expect one of these four options to be a place we see Rossi in 2016, and given the below tweet it could be announced sooner rather than later.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”