Rossi hits out in Herta row


Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta's teammate in IndyCar, claims that the American's failed bid to enter F1 is down to the sport's past greed.

Rossi, of course, has experience of F1. 2008 champion of the Formula BMW USA, series and World Final, the German version having brought Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg to the world's attention, he joined Caterham in 2012 as test driver, making his race weekend debut at the European Grand Prix.

Remaining with Caterham in the same role in 2014, he left the team later in the year to join Marussia, where he was promoted to the role of reserve driver.

In 2015, still with Marussia, Rossi finally made his race debut at the Singapore Grand Prix, the youngster going on to contest four of the season's six remaining races. That same year he finished runner-up to Stoffel Vandoorne in GP2.

With his F1 options looking severely limited, for 2016 he signed with Andretti Autosport in IndyCar, though he subsequently accepted a reserve driver role at Manor.

Following the dropping of Rio Haryanto due to a lack of funding, Rossi was offered the Indonesian driver's race seat but he rejected it in favour of focussing on IndyCar.

In his debut season in IndyCar, Rossi won the Indy 500, and in 2018 finished runner-up in the championship to Scott Dixon.

Still in IndyCar, where he has been teammate to Herta at Andretti Autosport for the last three seasons, Rossi has also contested the IMSA Sports Car Championship, in which he is currently second.

Though F1 needed an American on the grid, when Haas entered the sport in 2016, the first American constructor since Haas Lola in 1985, from the outset the newcomer showed scant interest in Rossi, claiming that it had opted for Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez because it felt there were no suitable American drivers available.

Now, as the row over Herta continues, Rossi has hit out at F1 claiming that his teammate is paying the price for the sport's past greed.

"I've kept my mouth shut long enough, so here goes," he posted on social media. "I'm so sick and tired of this back and forth regarding superlicence points.

"The whole premise of it was to stop people from buying their way into F1 and allowing talent to be the motivating factor," he continued.

"That's great. We all agree Colton has the talent and capability to be in F1. That's also great and he should get that opportunity if it's offered to him. Period.

"Motorsport still remains as the most high profile sport in the world where money can outweigh talent. What is disappointing and in my opinion, the fundamental problem, is that the sporting element so often took a backseat to the business side that there had to be a method put in place in order for certain teams to stop taking drivers solely based on their financial backing.

"Ultimately these past decisions, whether out of greed or necessity, is what cost Colton the opportunity to make the decision for himself as to if he wanted to alter career paths and race in F1. Not points on a license."

His comments come in the wake of Graham Rahal's claim that F1 is "elitist" and is only interested in America when it comes to money.

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Published: 22/09/2022
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