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American Alexander Rossi Will Replace Max Chilton for the Belgian Grand Prix

August 22nd, 2014 at 1:45 AM
By Mark Eddinger

Marussia announced on Thursday that Alexander Rossi will replace Max Chilton for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. For Rossi it will be his Formula One debut and it will mark the first time that an American driver has competed in an F1 Grand Prix since Scott Speed in 2007.

Chilton is being replaced as Marussia works out contractual issues and the driver switch was not planned. Chilton has been driving for Marussia since the start of 2013.

The 22-year-old Rossi just signed as Marussia's in July to be their reserve driver after filling that role over at Catherham. While at Caterham Rossi participated in four Friday practice session over the past three years.

"It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula One for the first time," Rossi said. "I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team enough for the faith they are demonstrating in me. It's a very big moment for me and there's a lot to prepare in a short space of time, but on the other hand I have felt ready for this for quite a while now."
Marussia Team Principal John Booth hopes to have the contract issue with Chilton handled soon.
"Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps," Booth said. "Naturally we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible, but for now we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action."
Rossi will team with Jules Bianchi in the other seat for Marussia. Friday's first practice at Spa-Francorchamps is set to start just at 4 a.m. ET time. Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix is slated for an 8 a.m. ET start time.

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