Former Manor star Alexander Rossi signs IndyCar extension


Former Manor Racing driver Alexander Rossi and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner has signed a new deal with IndyCar team Andretti-Herta Autosport which will keep him in the US oppen wheel series for another year.

Rossi took part in five Grand Prix races in 2015, starting with Singapore followed by outings in Japan, Mexico, Brazil and his native United States. He continued to serve as Manor's official reserve driver into 2016, which he combined with a full-time seat in IndyCar.

He turned down an offer to return to Formula One with Manor in August in place of Rio Haryanto and opted to see out his maiden season in IndyCar instead. Rossi pulled off a shock win in the 100th running of the famous Indy 500 in May, and went on to be crowned IndyCar rookie of the year with six top-10 finishes and 23 laps led over 16 races.

“What an incredible eight months this has been,” said Rossi. "From getting the opportunity to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in February, to winning the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May and now re-signing with Andretti Autosport.

"I am incredibly proud and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to work with a team of this calibre as we chase after more race wins and continue to make our mark in this amazing championship.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are already completely focused on being back at the sharp end of the grid where we belong."

"Alexander showed tremendous growth this year and we are excited to welcome him back to the team,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “In his first IndyCar season, Alexander was able to form trusting relationships with the team’s engineers, mechanics and his teammates and that itself is a great foundation to begin 2017.

"We also know he is competitive and can win races. Continuity plays a big role in the success of our programs and being able to confirm that Alexander is remaining with the team is incredible."

“Knowing that Alexander will be returning to the #98 Andretti-Herta Autosport car provides us with the stability and continuity we need to strive for even higher results,” said former racer Bryan Herta, now the co-owner of Rossi's entry.

"Last season showed great progress, and I could not be more excited about our prospects moving forward. Last season we were late in the game putting our deal together.

"This winter we are focused on the season ahead, the continuation of our successful partnership with Andretti Autosport, and seeing Alexander become a consistent winner in the Verizon IndyCar series."

Rossi will continue to race alongside 2016 teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, with a fourth car possibily to be confirmed closer to the start of the season in March with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in Florida.

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