Caterham test driver Alexander Rossi will not be driving for the team at his home event

Local fans heading to this weekend’s United States Grand Prix will be disappointed to learn that Caterham’s test driver, the Californian-born Alexander Rossi, won’t be running in the car during Friday practice, despite him seemingly being a shoe-in to do so.

The Leafield-based team has instead opted to give regular drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov as much track time as possible on the brand-new Circuit of the Americas facility, which plays host to Formula 1’s return to the United States after a five-year absence.

Rossi drove for Caterham at last weekend's 'Young Drivers' test session at Abu DhabiRossi has twice driven the team’s CT01 challenger. His first outing came at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, while his second came last week during the Abu Dhabi ‘Young Drivers’ test session (pictured), when he ran on the third and final day of the event.

Despite the announcement that confirmed he would not be driving in front of his local fans, the 21-year-old has copped the disappointment on the chin and declared that he would front the team’s promotional and technical activities in any way he can.

“As our team’s test driver, I know that the main thing is that Austin is a new circuit and the race drivers need as much time as they can on-track to prepare for qualifying and the race – as a race driver, I’d want exactly the same in their position,” he is quoted as saying.

“For me, the weekend will be a great chance to work with our team’s partners and the fans to show them what my world is like.”

Rossi also praised the sport’s return to his homeland, and was impressed with the preparation work done ahead of the Texas circuit playing hosting duties this weekend.

“It’s obviously fantastic that COTA is bringing F1 back to the US and, as I’m a real F1 fan at heart, I’m really excited about the race coming to Austin,” he added.

“COTA have done an amazing job on the track. It’s going to be a great challenge for the drivers and they’ve also made sure the whole weekend is worth staying for – not just the sessions on-track but the whole event.”

Alexander Rossi
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.