Test driver hopes to be first American F1 racer in 5 years
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While Formula 1 racing will return to the United States in three months, none of the Grand Prix drivers will be American. One driver is hoping to change that.
Twenty-year-old Alexander Rossi isn't a stranger to a race car. The California native has been working towards the pinnacle of motorsports for most of his life.
"I got into a race car when I was 14 and moved to Europe when I was 16 and the journey has been ever evolving since then," Caterham F1 test driver Rossi said.
Becoming a Formula 1 driver isn't easy. Drivers train for hours each week to be able to physically endure the stresses of driving one of the fastest vehicles on Earth.
Even then, only the best of the best compete in F1.
"Formula 1, for a very good reason, is probably one of the most difficult sports to get into in the world because there's 24 seats available each year," Rossi said.
An American hasn't competed in a Grand Prix since 2007. Rossi hopes to be the next.
With the race in Austin later this year and New Jersey next, he's hopeful that the sport will begin to get traction here in the states.
"Once people kind of come to the race in Austin and see what it's all about, they'll start to understand why I feel it's the best sport in the world," Rossi said.
Rossi was in town this weekend for Austin Fashion Week. He also took the opportunity to see the Circuit of the Americas and the track has him excited.
"I was blown away, I was almost speechless with how impressive it is because seeing it on paper is one thing, but to be able to actually drive around it, and feel the flow of it and the rhythm of it, and to see the spectacle that is turn one," Rossi said.
Right now Rossi is the test driver for the Caterham F1 Team, meaning he works to get his team's car ready for the races.
He says he hopes to earn a spot behind the wheel in an upcoming F1 season.