Alexander Rossi says he can understand Caterham's decision to give Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov maximum track time in Austin this weekend, even though it means he won't get the chance to drive on track himself.
Speculation had suggested that the American would be given the opportunity to take part in Friday practice ahead of his home race, although the decision has instead been taken to ensure that the two race drivers get maximum seat time in order to learn the Circuit of the Americas layout.
Speaking ahead of the race weekend, test driver Rossi admitted he could understand the team's decision and said he was excited about the race ahead even if he will only be taking on a watching brief.
"First 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 said. “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.
"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.”
Rossi will represent Caterham at a number of events during the course of the weekend, including the FOTA Fans Forum planned for Wednesday evening.
“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,” he said. “I'm an ambassador for our premium partner GE so I'm going to be bringing their guests right into the heart of F1, as well as taking part in events like the FOTA Fans Forum on Wednesday night at the Hilton Hotel in Austin.
“It's going to be an incredible week, in the build up to the race and on race day itself, and I'm going to be working hard to help introduce a lot of very important people to our team and F1 as a whole."