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F1: Rossi handed unexpected race debut at Spa

America's Alexander Rossi will make his first F1 race appearance at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, following a shake-up in the Marussia camp.
READ: Max Chilton says he volunteered to relinquish Marussia seat

Marussia has announced that Alexander Rossi will replace Max Chilton in the team ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

The American will join Jules Bianchi in the line-up just a matter of weeks after 'transferring' from Caterham to act as test and reserve driver.

According to Marussia, Chilton has been stood down while 'contractual issues' are resolved, although the official statement does not go into specifics.

“Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his grand prix debut at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix,” team principal John Booth commented.

“Naturally, we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible but, for now, we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Rossi had previously taken part in a number of Friday morning practice sessions with Caterham, but is delighted to have the chance to race in the top flight after several years of campaigning in GP2.

“It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in F1 for the first time, and I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team enough for the faith they are demonstrating in me,” he said, “It's a very big moment for me and there's a lot to prepare in a short space of time but, on the other hand, I have felt ready for this for quite a while now.

“It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can't wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend.”

The news comes just a day after Caterham confirmed Lotterer will also compete at Spa-Francorchamps, meaning two drivers will be making their F1 debut this weekend.

Rossi will be the first American driver to start an F1 race since Scott Speed brought his tenure with Scuderia Toro Rosso to a premature end after the 2007 European Grand Prix.

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August 21, 2014 4:55 PM
Last Edited 365 days ago

You see, now this I can understand... Unlike Kobayashi ,Max has been under performing since forever! Hopefully Rossi can pull a 'Bruno Senna' from a few years back on his Lotus debut at Spa.

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