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American racing driver Alexander Rossi to make F1 debut this weekend

FILE - This is a Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 file photo of  American  driver Alexander Rossi  as he watches in the pit during the first free practice at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium. Formula 1 team Manor Marussia said Wednesday Sept. 16, 2015, it has signed Alexander Rossi to race in five of the seven remaining events this season, starting in Singapore this weekend. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

FILE - This is a Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 file photo of American driver Alexander Rossi as he watches in the pit during the first free practice at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Belgium. Formula 1 team Manor Marussia said Wednesday Sept. 16, 2015, it has signed Alexander Rossi to race in five of the seven remaining events this season, starting in Singapore this weekend. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

California native Alexander Rossi will make his long-awaited Formula One debut this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Manor Marussia F1 team confirmed that the American would race in five of the seven remaining rounds of the 2015 Formula One season.

Rossi, who will be the first American to race in F1 since Scott Speed in 2007, will be replacing Roberto Merhi and teaming with Great Britain’sWill Stevens.

Rossi has won two races this season in the GP2 Series and currently sits second in the standings. Since he remains in that championship fight, the 23-year-old will not compete in the F1 races at Russia and Abu Dhabi, and Merhi -- who now joins Fabio Leimer as an Official Reserve Driver for the team -- will be back in the seat.

“I’m very thankful to race for the Manor Marussia F1 Team and for their continued belief in me,” said Rossi. “I’ve been prepared for this opportunity for quite a while now. Many will know from 2014 that the team and I already have a strong relationship and there’s a bit of unfinished business for me here.

“This is a small F1 team that has been through so much. They exemplify passion and true strength of character, and their comeback this season is extraordinary. I’m honored to be part of this legacy and their continued growth and success.

“I want to thank the management at Manor Marussia F1 Team and my team in the GP2 Series, Racing Engineering, for supporting both my F1 duties and the completion of an already strong GP2 campaign. Since Monza, my return to F1 came together rather quickly and seamlessly. The collective support of both Manor and Racing Engineering was instrumental in making this opportunity possible.

“Singapore is a circuit I really enjoy and the timing of my debut could not be more perfect. There’s a lot of work ahead and I’m looking forward to a busy end to the 2015 season.”

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