Rossi aims to seize the opportunity


Ahead of his first F1 grand prix, Alexander Rossi insists he's out to prove to all the teams, not just Haas, that he deserves a full-time drive.

Manor made the surprise announcement on Wednesday that Rossi would replace Roberto Merhi for five of the last seven races, starting with this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

The announcement comes just days after the American GP2 driver's hopes of a Haas seat were shattered when the team stated that they could not risk putting a rookie in the car in the debut campaign.

It is not the first time that Rossi's dream of racing in Formula 1 has stumbled before it even got off the ground with the 23-year-old previously taking on a test driver roles.

But while those never yielded a drive, his dream has finally come to fruition thanks to Manor.

"The big thing that I've been missing in the last three years in my F1 career is actually racing. We've been close quite a few times and it's very surreal now it's about to happen," Rossi told reporters in the Marina Bay paddock.

So this is a major step in really firmly putting myself on the Formula 1 map, on the radar. So I'm just focused on doing a good job in these five races and showing that I am capable of being in Formula 1 and doing a good job.

"My goal is to race full-time in Formula 1 and whatever situation that is I'm going to jump at that with open arms. What this may lead to I don't know, but I'm hopeful that doing a good job in these five races prove I belong here and am capable of doing it just as much as everyone else."

Pressed as to whether he felt a good showing at Manor could yet convince Haas to sign him, Rossi added: "I don't know.

"I'm going to try and prove that I'm more than capable of racing in Formula 1 and I have all the necessary boxes ticked. The best way to do that is on track.

"To be the only American with a superlicence, and now taking a grand prix start, it's some stuff I have in my corner for sure. But whether it leads anywhere remains to be seen."