Alexander Michael Rossi (born September 25, 1991) is an American professional racing driver. He currently races in the IndyCar Series for Bryan Herta Autosport with Andretti Autosport; additionally, he serves as reserve driver for Manor Racing in Formula One. Rossi won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie.
In 2005, after becoming IKF Grand National Champion in the 100cc Yamaha class, Auburn-born Rossi was semi-finalist in the Red Bull Formula One American Drivers search with a top 5 finish overall out of over 2,000 nationwide candidates. Leveraging that success, Rossi's family funded his career path via a private placement financing that offered investors a return on his future success via www.ppm.net
In 2006 he was awarded the Skip Barber National Scholarship from Skip Barber Racing School to compete in the 2006 Skip Barber National Championship, where he finished third overall and became the youngest winner in Skip Barber National Championship history, at age 14.
Rossi competed in the Formula BMW USA series in 2007, finishing third overall in the championship, with three wins and five podiums while driving for Team Apex Racing, USA.
For 2008, Rossi returned for his sophomore year with the two-time Formula BMW championship-winning team EuroInternational. He won the overall championship, becoming the first American Formula BMW Champion in the Americas Championship, with ten wins from the fifteen races run.
Rossi completed the season as World Champion, winning the 2008 Formula BMW World Final at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City, beating the rookie Michael Christensen. Rossi was awarded a Formula One test with BMW Sauber F1 Team, along with European champion Esteban Gutiérrez.
Rossi decided to move to compete in Europe in 2009. He chose to compete in the International Formula Master with Hitech Racing. After two rounds, Rossi moved over to ISR Racing for the remainder of the season. Rossi won three races over the course of the season, all coming during reverse-grid races. The wins at Brno, Spa and Imola gave Rossi the second-highest tally of victories during the 2009 season, with Fabio Leimer (seven) winning more. Coupled with Pål Varhaug's sixth place in the final race at Imola, Rossi moved up to fourth overall in the championship, and the highest-placed rookie driver.
In 2010, Rossi made the move to the new GP3 Series, competing for multiple-championship-winning team ART Grand Prix. He joined Pedro Nunes and Esteban Gutiérrez at the team, winning twice and finishing fourth in the series.
After a season in GP3, Rossi moved on to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Fortec Motorsport. He was joined at the team by Brazilian driver and Italian Formula Three Champion César Ramos. He won the opening race of the season in Aragón and the second race at Le Castellet, and eventually finished third in the championship– and top rookie driver– behind Carlin drivers Robert Wickens and Jean-Éric Vergne.
Rossi stayed in the series for the 2012 season, but switched to newcomers Arden Caterham Motorsport, partnering Red Bull-backed driver Lewis Williamson.
Rossi competed in the 2009–10 GP2 Asia Series. Having competed for Ocean Racing Technology at the first Abu Dhabi round, Rossi moved to Team Meritus for the remaining rounds. Rossi made a strong impression immediately finishing fourth in his début race, from thirteenth on the grid. Rossi was only the second American to compete at GP2 level, preceded by Scott Speed who raced in Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006 and 2007. Rossi finished ninth in the championship standings.
After his stint at the Formula Renault 3.5, Rossi made his GP2 Series debut in the Bahrain round in 2013 after replacing Chinese driver Ma Qinghua, he finished 3rd in his debut race. On July 16, 2014, Rossi announced he had departed Caterham's GP2 team, and later joined Campos Racing at the Hockenheimring, replacing Kimiya Sato. He joined Racing Engineering for the 2015 season opposite British rookie Jordan King.
Rossi was one of three drivers linked to US-based Formula One team US F1 along with José María López and Jonathan Summerton. Rossi was contracted to be the reserve and test driver before the team folded. He has also tested the 2009-spec BMW Sauber F1.09 Formula One car as part of Formula One's young driver test in Jerez. This was earned for winning the Formula BMW World Final. This test earned Rossi his FIA Super License and currently he is the only American to hold one.
For the 2012 Formula One season, he joined Caterham F1 as a test driver alongside reserve driver Giedo van der Garde. At the Spanish round he drove Heikki Kovalainen's car in the first practice session, becoming the first American to drive in a Formula One session (during a race weekend) since Scott Speed at the 2007 European Grand Prix. In 2013, he drove for Caterham in the first practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix and at Silverstone in July for the young driver test. In 2014, he drove the Caterham in the first practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix. Rossi departed Caterham following the departure of Tony Fernandes and the entrance of new Swiss and Middle Eastern investors in July 2014.
Alexander Rossi at the 2015 United States Grand Prix Following his departure from Caterham, Rossi joined Marussia F1 as reserve driver for the remainder of the 2014 season. He was initially set to make his Formula One debut at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, replacing British driver Max Chilton, although Marussia later reversed that decision. He later was set to replace the injured Jules Bianchi at Russia, but Marussia later decided to only run a single car for Chilton.
Continuing as a reserve driver into 2015, he finally made his debut at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix. Rossi qualified 20th and last for his debut, but rallied to finish 14th, 14 seconds ahead of teammate Will Stevens, despite losing radio communication with his crew around the halfway point of the Grand Prix. Rossi would go on to enter five of the final seven races of the 2015 season.
Despite signing for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, Rossi returned as a reserve driver for the reformed Manor Racing for the 2016 season.
Despite previously claiming to having little interest in oval racing, Rossi made the switch to the IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport for the 2016 IndyCar Series. During his first season with the team, he won the Indianapolis 500 after starting from the 11th position on the grid. Rossi was the top rookie in qualifying for the race and led the final few laps as the cars ahead of him on track ran low on fuel and pitted. Rossi managed his fuel over the final stint to win, then ran dry after the finish and had to be towed to victory lane.
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