Marussia replace Chilton with Rossi for Belgian GP

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Jules Bianchi, Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, Marussia, 2014Alexander Rossi will make his Formula One debut in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in place of Max Chilton.

Marussia say the change is being made due to “contractual issues” with Chilton.

Team principal John Booth said: “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.”

“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, who joined Marussia last month after leaving Caterham, said: “It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula One for the first time and I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team 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. It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can’t wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend.”

Rossi will be the first American driver to compete in a Formula One race since Scott Speed in the 2007 European Grand Prix.

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80 comments on Marussia replace Chilton with Rossi for Belgian GP

  1. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 21st August 2014, 16:02

    This just made my day… I remember attending the Nurburgring ’07 race, and wish I was in Belgium right now. Eyes watering with joy, and hoping he can finish ahead of the Caterhams…

  2. Nick (@npf1) said on 21st August 2014, 16:11

    Didn’t see this one coming, but Rossi must be pretty pleased with his departure from Caterham right now.

  3. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 21st August 2014, 16:15

    THIS IS THE BEST BELGIAN GRAND PRIX EVER AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN TURNED A LAP

  4. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 21st August 2014, 16:17

    Marussia did the smart thing and replaced their rubbish driver (Chilton). Caterham did the exact opposite (because they are idiots) and replaced their good driver (Kobayashi). I’m starting to gain a lot of respect for Marussia and also starting to lose a lot of respect for Caterham. At least Chilton is out but I really wished that Ericsson would be out too which would mean that two rubbish drivers would be out of the Belgian GP before it even started and then that would leave the Sauber pair and Maldonado. But Maldonado would probably take himself and at least one other driver out of the GP because he crashed here in 2013 and 2012 and most likely it would be Gutierrez considering their crashes at Bahrain and Silverstone. That would mean two more rubbish drivers would be out and that would leave Sutil, who would probably just spin off for no reason. I’ve just made the best case scenario here! Anyways, good luck to Rossi and Lotterer.

  5. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 21st August 2014, 16:24

    Maybe Haas has anything to do with this? He has an interest in Ferrari engines as well so…

  6. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 21st August 2014, 17:04

    Oh no! Looks like the F1 comedy blogs are going to have to find someone else to make fun of this weekend.

  7. marcus hand (@wombat1m) said on 21st August 2014, 17:08

    No offense to either driver coming in at Marussia or Caterham, but how long is before these teams are on Ebay posting an auction – “Want to drive in F1 next week? – minimum bid $200,000 and an FIA super license”….

  8. Rigi (@rigi) said on 21st August 2014, 17:21

    and for those of you that wonder, his FOM-graphic abbreviation is RSI (because ROS is used for rosberg obviously).

    • UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 21st August 2014, 19:05

      I thought it might be ARO like the Schumacher brothers used their first names first letter.

      Anyway I think this might be the strongest lineup Marussia/Virgin/Manor ever had because Glock never had a really strong teammate. But maybe I overrate Rossi or even both of them.

      • Rigi (@rigi) said on 21st August 2014, 21:30

        i quite like the RSI solution. the FOM abbreviations are something i always pay attention to for some reason.

        pic had a very good rookie season and was probably glocks strongest team mate. i don’t rate rossi too highly, he never really imressed me all that much in gp2. a lot like ericsson actually. a few podiums here and there but nothing that really shows us his full capability. but i’m sure rossi will be driving for haas in 2016. closest contender would be conor daly i guess, and he’s really not done much in gp2 yet (allthough it’s most likely his car that’s terrible)

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 21st August 2014, 22:21

      Hopefully they’ll get rid of the stupid arm-folding videos of each driver now they don’t have all of them. (Max is still doing it in the pic above)

  9. Soooooo happy for him! Congrats kid!

  10. Would be awesome to see how the “newbies” fare!

  11. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 21st August 2014, 19:50

    !!!!!

    Holy crap, can’t tell you how excited I am to see an American driver actually race! I only started following F1 closely in 2009 so this is huge for me. Crossing my fingers he performs well.

  12. Rick (@viscountviktor) said on 21st August 2014, 21:23

    Both these driver changes are weird.

  13. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 21st August 2014, 21:49

    What fun Spa is turning out to be! Musical chairs in the race seats.

  14. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 21st August 2014, 22:38

    This will be very interesting weekend. :)

  15. tino852 (@tino852) said on 21st August 2014, 22:56

    Finally someone realizes how rubbish Chilton is.

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