Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

United States Grand Prix

By Steve Aibel


The United States Grand Prix returns to Austin this week for the 4th United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. With the Constructor’s Championship settled in favor of Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton looking to secure his 3rd Driver’s Championship, the Austin event will again showcase a growing American interest in Formula 1. Circuit of the Americas is a track that has received very positive reviews from the drivers and the Austin location draws rave reviews from the paddock.

The uphill Turn 1 at COTA

The uphill Turn 1 at COTA

This year the Stars and Stripes will shine a whole lot brighter for Manor Racing and American driver Alexander Rossi. The young American will suit up to do battle against the greatest racers in the world on one of the greatest tracks on the planet. Rossi secured a deal with Manor to race 5 of 7 of the remaining races this season in F1, while also completing the full season in GP2 with Racing Engineering.

Alexander Rossi will be the first American driver to pilot a Formula 1 car since 2007 when Scott Speed raced for Toro Rosso. That Rossi is racing on American soil has brought a welcome increase in attention to the US Grand Prix this year and should point a worldwide global spotlight on the driver.

Alexander Rossi and Manor Racing Represent the US At COTA

Alexander Rossi and Manor Racing Represent the US At COTA

Rossi is certainly ready for this!

In talking to Rossi on Formula 1 Racing Plus, a weekly radio program on Performance Motorsports Network, the reality of racing in an F1 car for the first time settled in on the grid in Singapore. Rossi explained that practice and qualifying felt like a regular test session but once he buckled in and settled on the grid the reality of reaching his dream became real. For Rossi, it was a dream come true! “Everything that myself and my family and the people around me had worked for such a long period of time” had become reality. It was a surreal experience for the American!

Rossi will run for Manor F1 Team, who essentially reignited their F1 flame this season. Manor was essentially written off toward the end of the 2014 season and it was nothing short of a herculean effort to get them back on the grid. Using what is essentially a 2014 modified car, Rossi is well aware of the limitation of this years Manor effort. The team has modified their approach to insure that they target getting both cars to the finish with the ability to take advantage of any misfortune that may affect the faster teams. With rain forecast this weekend, we could see Manor and Rossi in a position to take advantage of circumstance this weekend.

Rossi is currently balancing his new role with Manor with his full time effort in GP2 for Racing Engineering. The GP2 season has been a success with Rossi occupying 2nd position in the championship. He has 3 wins on the season at Spa, Monza, and Russia. We asked Alexander the difference between driving a Formula 1 car and a GP2 car and his answer was again insightful.

Rossi has gotten used the the F1 car quickly

Rossi has gotten used the the F1 car quickly

Rossi described the difference between a GP2 car and a Formula 1 car as not a huge difference in lap time but the Formula 1 car feels “substantially quicker. All the other things that you have to think about, the driving technique and driving style is a lot different due to the way the power units work” in terms of energy recovery systems and energy deployment.”

Rossi has evidently gotten used to the differences as he has beaten Manor teammate Will Stevens in both outings and returned to GP2 in Russia winning the feature race.

Rossi had had a flurry of wins with Racing Engineering in the primary feeder series, GP2, for F1

Rossi had had a flurry of wins with Racing Engineering in the primary F1 feeder series, GP2

As the lone American driver suiting up for the Grand Prix in Austin, this will be an emotional race for Rossi.

“It’s a very special thing. I think any athletes dream is to compete at home in front of their home fans and I finally get the opportunity to do that.”

Rossi will be looking to parlay this into a full time F1 ride in 2016

Rossi will be looking to parlay this into a full time F1 ride in 2016

“To come back in 2015, racing a Formula 1 car in America is kind of the full circle completed. It’s a very cool chapter and hopefully the start of something very positive for the future.”

Rossi will be a big part of the spotlight this week and hopefully another strong result will help him to secure a ride next year in Formula 1. This is certainly where his efforts will be focused moving forward as Rossi will be “working to finish GP2 strong and do what I can to convince people that I deserve to be in F1.”

The full interview with Alexander Rossi can be heard on F1 Racing Plus on Performance Motorsports Network at…

Thursday 4 PM EST

Friday 11 PM EST

Saturday 11PM EST

Sunday 6 AM EST


Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 302
  2. Sebastian Vettel 236
  3. Nico Rosberg 229
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 123
  5. Valtteri Bottas 111
  6. Felipe Massa 109
  7. Daniil Kvyat 76
  8. Daniel Ricciardo 73
  9. Sergio Perez 54
  10. Romain Grosjean 44
  11. Nico Hulkenberg 38
  12. Max Verstappen 33
  13. Felipe Nasr 25
  14. Pastor Maldonado 22
  15. Carlos Sainz Jr. 12
  16. Fernando Alonso 11
  17. Marcus Ericsson 9
  18. Jenson Button 8


Constructors’ Championship

  1. Mercedes 531
  2. Ferrari 359
  3. Williams 220
  4. Red Bull 149
  5. Force India 92
  6. Lotus 66
  7. Toro Rosso 45
  8. Sauber 34
  9. McLaren 19
  10. Manor/Marussia 0