Alexander Rossi is making the transition to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016, with Andretti Autosport. The team announced today that Rossi will drive the No. 98 Dallara-Honda, which will be the fourth entry for the team after their merger with Bryan Herta Autosport. The team says he will be in the car for rookie test day at Sebring International Raceway on March 1.
Herta will serve as the race strategist for Rossi in the combined team effort while racing veteran Tom German will serve as the American’s lead engineer. The move to IndyCar will present a steep learning curve, but he has great teammates to work with in Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, and Carlos Munoz.
“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.”
“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, I think it speaks to the level of talent we have.”
Rossi, 24, boasts an impressive racing portfolio including being the 2015 GP2 Series Vice-Champion. The California-native holds 209 Formula car starts, including 42 wins, 75 podiums, 36 poles and a current win percentage of 20.1%. Michael Andretti along with Rossi and Scott Speed, who currently competes for Andretti’s Global Rallycross team, make up the last three American-born drivers to compete in Formula 1.
Rossi will join Conor Daly and Max Chilton as Rookie of the Year contenders for this season.