IndyCar: Alexander Rossi confirmed at Andretti

24-year-old Alexander Rossi made five Formula One race starts and finished second in the GP2 Series championship in 2015

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American racing driver Alexander Rossi will make the switch to IndyCar for 2016 after failing to land a spot on the F1 grid.

Not long after Manor Racing announced that Rio Haryanto had landed a ride in the second Manor seat, Rossi had made it clear to the press that, although he hadn’t given up on Formula One, he wanted to make sure he was behind the wheel of a race car for 2016.

Andretti Autosport has given him that chance, with a ride in the No. 98 Honda. Rossi will turn his first laps in the Indy car in the rookie test day on March 1 at Sebring International Raceway.

“We’re really excited to have Alexander join the team,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “His credentials speak for his ability and we’re confident he’ll transition seamlessly into IndyCar racing. It’s neat to have the last three American F1 drivers in 25 years to be under one roof (Rossi, Scott Speed and himself), I think it speaks to the level of talent we have.”

“I’m very much looking forward to making my IndyCar Series debut this season and am proud to be racing with a team of such high caliber and pedigree as that of Andretti Autosport,” said Rossi. “As a racer through and through, I cannot wait to get started; our goal is to be competitive immediately at the first race in St. Petersburg.”

The No. 98 entry only recently joined the Andretti Autosport team, following a merger with Bryan Herta Autosport. Herta will serve as Rossi’s race strategist in 2016 while Tom German will serve as his lead engineer.

“Personally, I’m really pleased at how well all these pieces have come into place for this group,” added Herta. “Adding Alex as a driver is going from strength to strength for us. We can’t wait to get on track together and start our preparation for the 2016 season.”

The 2016 IndyCar season kicks off on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 13.