Alexander Rossi says that talks are progressing with regard to him landing a full-time seat in F1 next season, having made a promising start to live with the Manor team in the second half of 2015.
Approaching his home race, and becoming the first American to race an F1 car on American soil since 2007 when he lines up in Austin this weekend, the GP2 Series racewinner revealed that discussions are moving in a positive direction with regard to being a part of the line-up in 2016.
“In terms of next year, I am obviously quite keen to be in a full-time seat,” he said, no doubt recalling previous false starts to his F1 career with both Marussia and Caterham, “The position I am in with the team at the moment is good, and we're looking to put that all together for next year.”
Rossi admits too that, while he is proud to be carrying the Stars and Stripes into Sunday's race, there are more fundamental goals for the weekend than merely fulfilling US pride.
“The reaction [in the United States] has been very positive, which is what we wanted to see, and of course there is pride that goes along with it, but that already started in Singapore and Japan,” he noted, “Obviously to be here at home means a big deal but, at the same time, we have a job to do and clear objectives to meet. So, I'm looking forward to it – and there are a lot of friends and family coming this weekend – but, once you get into the car and out on track, you appreciate that there is a bigger picture.”
The American's previous race weekends with Manor have not been the easiest, but he has still managed to finish ahead of more established team-mate Will Stevens, although he accepts that that is probably the height of his ambition given the performance gap between the British minnow and the rest of the grid.
“The current situation, with the performance difference in the cars, is very clear, and the objective is just to continue what we've done in the first two races,” he confirmed, “Both of those weekends had quite a disrupted Friday for the whole team so I think, if we have a strong Friday, the Sunday result can be even more positive.”