Alexander Rossi says he sees his 12th place at his home debut Formula 1 Grand Prix as 'the start of great things' and is thrilled after vying for the points-paying positions in Austin.
The American driver grabbed Manor's equal-best result of the season in P12 – matching Roberto Merhi's result at Silverstone – in a race which started badly but ended in a positive crescendo.
Heading into the first corner melee, Rossi was forced to run wide by the spinning Williams of Felipe Massa and ran into his team-mate Will Stevens which ultimately ruled the British driver out of the race.
Rossi's Manor wasn't badly damaged enabling him to charge forward and due to multiple collisions and safety car periods he became within reach of the points, a feat not achieved by the team since Jules Bianchi's ninth place in Monaco last year, but was eventually bumped down the order into P12 at the chequered flag.
The American driver says he is delighted by the result after a tricky home debut at the Circuit of the Americas and is looking to carry the performance into this weekend's race in Mexico.
“It's been a truly amazing week and to finish in 12th place today is incredibly exciting for me and the team,” Rossi said. 2I'm so proud to race well here in front of my home crowd and to equal the team's best performance of the season in only my third Grand Prix.
“The race did get off to a tricky start, which was a shame. There was a Williams driver in the mix, who had picked up some damage, and avoiding him put Will and me on the same piece of racetrack. Unfortunately we hit and I'm sorry for Will that the resulting damage ended his race.
“As for the positives, I had a good battle with Felipe Nasr for quite a few laps and then with the rate of attrition we were seeing, I think everyone perhaps started to feel that we were getting in touch with a points-scoring position.
“In the end, it wasn't to be, but that doesn't detract from what has been a fantastic day for me and I'm now looking to carry that momentum forward to Mexico, where we race in just a week's time. I'd like to thank the Team and everyone who continues to support me in my career. I hope this is just the start of great things in Formula 1 for me.”
Rossi has adapted to life with Manor in F1 remarkably well after finishing an impressive 14th place maiden race in Singapore, followed by a solid but unspectacular 18th in Japan.