This weekend’s United States Grand Prix will, for the first time in eight years, have an American competitor as Alexander Rossi lines up for the Manor Marussia team.

The 24-year-old Californian native says he is relishing his chance to play a full role in this year’s event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, after helping the team test cars during preparations for the grand prix last year.

“This is my fourth year here and in each of the four years I’ve talked about what a great facility this is, what a great venue this is and how proud I am to be an American. Now, to finally have a chance to drive here – and it has been a long road for me -– I just can’t wait to get started.”

A good result for Rossi will give him a very good chance of retaining a full time Manor seat for the 2016 grand prix season, as the team hopes to become more competitive, having just secured a deal to be powered by Mercedes engines.

“There are a lot of other drivers for this seat,” says Rossi. “At this time of the year, there always are but there are limited seats around. I think my chances are very good, I’m happy here and I want to stay.”

It had earlier been rumored that Rossi would be head hunted by the new Haas team, but that did not eventuate as the American newcomers signed Frenchman Romain Grosjean.

The Haas F1 Team known previously as Haas Formula and Haas Racing Developments, was established by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owner Gene Haas in 2014. Haas had intended to make its Formula 1 debut at the start of the 2015 grand prix season but has now elected to do this for the 2016 season.

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