US driver Rossi says F1 race debut is ‘very surreal’

SINGAPORE (AP) — American driver Alexander Rossi says it is “very surreal” to be preparing for his Formula One debut this weekend after signing a deal with the Manor team, becoming the first American to race in the series since 2007.

Rossi will make his debut at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday after having only received confirmation on Tuesday that he will replace Roberto Mehri for five of this season’s remaining seven races, including the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

The Californian is uncertain about his prospects of getting a full-time deal next season, even with the addition of an American team run by Gene Haas, but aims “to prove to everyone that I belong here” and said it is a “massive boost” for F1 in America.