Alexander Rossi's dream of returning to the F1 grid next season could be closer to coming true according to hints in the American's Christmas message.
Rossi, who combined occasional end-of-season outings with Manor with his pursuit of the GP2 Series title, has made no secret of his desire to remain in the top flight as opposed to switching codes, despite sportscar and IndyCar teams no doubt harbouring interest in his services. With few F1 vacancies remaining, however, the former Caterham and Marussia reserve has made certain to thank Manor for the opportunity he received this year, while hinting that there he is hoping to make a positive announcement for 2016 in the coming weeks.
“As the racing season winds up and the holidays begin, the winter break for a race car driver is always a period of great reflection on the year just passed [and], as I look back on 2015, it was fantastic and there's plenty to be thankful for and acknowledged,” Rossi wrote on his official website, “In many ways, 2015 was a very successful year for me personally, my racing career and for those around me who help make it happen.
“One of the most powerful lessons I've learned since go-karts and during my motorsport journey is the understanding that 'You Never Arrive'! With most things in life that are difficult or substantial to achieve, the 'arrival' is normally an illusion and just another hard earned stepping stone as you work to achieve more. This is a powerful reminder in my daily commitment and pursuit, as there's still an enormous amount of work left to do. However, for this moment, it's important to take the opportunity to give thanks to everyone who made the last year possible.
“I would like to thank the Manor Marussia F1 team for their continued belief and commitment in me, and for allowing me the opportunity to make the most of my F1 race debut. After our combined efforts in 2014 for my F1 debut a year ago, competing this season for Manor Marussia F1 Team was a privilege, and I felt very comfortable over the span of five races and as I now plan and prepare for 2016.
“As I write this, my team and I are working hard on 2016 and we look forward to sharing some exciting news soon. I look forward to the opportunity of paying you back with even more results in 2016, while building upon the current momentum and growth of F1 in America.”
As well as thanking the Manor team and his partners, family and working team, Rossi paid tribute to the Racing Engineering squad that allowed him another crack at the GP2 crown, a bid which eventually came up one position short thanks to the domination of McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne.
“It has been a phenomenal year of competition with an outstanding group of people, and to bring home second in both the driver ranking and the team standings was extremely rewarding at this level of motorsport competition,” he reflected, “Winning in the GP2 Series and to be on the podium so consistently this year was fantastic for everyone involved and I've very much enjoyed my first full season there.
“The GP2 Series is by far the best feeder series for aspiring F1 drivers and those who wish to compete at the highest level of motorsport. It's ultra-competitive, as shown by the high calibre of racing and talent showcased this year and I'm very thankful for the GP2 Series organization. Both Racing Engineering and GP2 Series were fundamental to help make my 2015 F1 efforts with Manor Marussia F1 Team happen and without their support it would not have been possible to compete in both championships.”