September 16, 2015

SINGAPORE (AP) Formula One team Manor Marussia has signed American driver Alexander Rossi to race in five of the seven remaining events this season, starting in Singapore this weekend.

The 23-year-old Rossi will be the first American to compete in Formula One since Scott Speed in 2007. As well as Singapore, the team said in a statement Wednesday that Rossi will race in Japan, the United States, Mexico and Brazil.

Rossi, who is also competing in the GP2 championship, will miss the races in Russia in October and Abu Dhabi in November.

''I've been prepared for this opportunity for quite a while,'' said Rossi, who was a reserve driver for Marussia in the later stages of the 2014 season.

''Singapore is a circuit I really enjoy and the timing of my debut could not be more perfect. There's a lot of work ahead and I'm looking forward to a busy end to the 2015 season.''

Rossi will balance his commitments in GP2, where there are three events remaining, with his time at Marussia. Roberto Merhi, who will drop to being a reserve driver during Rossi's first races in F1, will compete in the American's absence for Marussia in Russia and Abu Dhabi.

''His current form in the GP2 Series has done much to reinforce his clear potential,'' team principal John Booth said of Rossi. ''With that in mind, we are pleased to support his current GP2 commitments while he continues to battle for the championship win, therefore he will race in five of the seven remaining Grands Prix this season.

''It is also fantastic news for the sport that it will have an American driver again, particularly with the United States Grand Prix on our horizon. I know Alexander is very excited about that and we look forward to providing him with the opportunity to show the American public what he can do.''

The U.S. Grand Prix will be staged Oct. 25 in Austin, Texas.

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