Rossi: No extra pressure in Austin


Alexander Rossi insists there will be no extra pressure on him at his home race the United States GP.

The American finally made his Formula 1 debut with Manor at the Singapore Grand Prix as he replaced Roberto Merhi while he had second outing in Japan the following week.

After making way for Merhi in Russia, Rossi will be back in the cockpit of the MR03 at the next three races in Austin, Mexico and Brazil.

Of course, next weekend's race at the Circuit of the Americas will be very special as it will be the first time an American competes on home soil since 2007 when Scott Speed lined up for Toro Rosso in Indianapolis.

"To represent my country at our home Grand Prix is an honour, privilege and a responsibility that I do not take lightly," he said in a Q&A with the Circuit of the Americas.

"COTA is one of my favourite circuits as it has the perfect mix of many great European circuits. I've only tested at COTA, so I'm really looking forward to my first time racing on it.

"There isn't really any extra pressure than at any other round. You learn to deal with pressure and compartmentalise it as part of being a racing driver.

"It's not a distraction – since go-karts, every race I take part in is a pressure cooker, but that's what we do.

"We're used to this and I'm very clear on what my role is and what is reasonably achievable at this stage of my career, so that mitigates the pressure.

"Simply put, I'm extremely proud to be an American racing in F1 and hopefully giving the US fans more to engage with, within F1 and the sport itself.

"My real focus is doing my job, improving and learning each day, while racing at the pinnacle of motorsport, whether it's Austin, or Singapore."

His big dream remains to have a permanent race seat on the Formula 1 grid for 2016.

"It’s important that I’m racing full time in F1 for 2016. This is well underway and moving in the right direction," he said.

"For the next few weeks my focus is doing a great job for the Manor Marussia F1 Team and Racing Engineering as both championships come to a close.

"I have complete faith in the team around me and our efforts leading into 2016, but through November I’m laser focused on the tasks at hand."