Rossi reveals he declined Manor race seat


American driver Alexander Rossi has revealed that he declined an offer from Manor for the rest of the current season to focus on his IndyCar career.

Last year, Rossi impressed the British outfit after he was put in a race seat in five of the last seven races of the 2015 season.

However, he failed to secure a drive this year and decided to compete in the Indy 500, and won on debut.

Rossi, who is currently a reserve driver for Manor, was supposed to be the first choice replacement if current driver Rio Haryanto can’t gather the funding needed to compete in the remaining races.

The IndyCar season, though, will clash with the next three Grands Prix, so Rossi made the decision to decline the offer.

"My management and I are in constant communications with Manor and we knew there might be an opportunity to race for the last half of the 2016 season," the 24-year-old told Autosport.

"We gave it careful thought but declined the race seat due to my IndyCar contract.

"I have a lot of respect for Manor giving us first right on the seat as we agreed. I have a really good relationship at Manor and there are no hard feelings. They understand an F1 deal has to be right for my future and my career has taken some good steps forward.

"I have options both in IndyCar and Formula 1 for 2017. There have been talks with Manor for a race seat and we've also been approached by another F1 team that's quite interesting.

"There are options in IndyCar that I can't elaborate on, but I can say Andretti and I have a great working relationship. Everyone at Andretti is aligned and working in good faith to extend our deal for several years.

"There's a sense of loyalty to Michael [Andretti], his team and Honda. As a driver there are some really good opportunities here and the competition is fantastic."