Birthplace: California, USA
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Alexander Rossi’s Formula One debut with Marussia was announced less than 24 hours before the first practice session began for the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix.
He made his breakthrough five years after gaining his first F1 test courtesy of BMW at the end of 2009. Unfortunately for Rossi, the company were in the process of pulling their team out of Formula One.
Rossi had won both the Formula BMW Americas championship and the World Final event in Mexico City the year before. He then made the move to racing in Europe, and placed fourth in the Formula Master championship in 2009 as he began to learn a new roster of tracks.
A switch to GP3 the following year provided more experience on F1 circuits and he again finished the season in fourth, this time with a pair of wins. The following year saw him move up to Formula Renault 3.5 where again he won twice, and ended the year third behind Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne.
By now he had attracted the attention of another F1 team, Lotus, which in 2012 changed its name to Caterham. As well as testing for the team and making his first appearance in an F1 practice session in Spain, he adopted their colours in Formula Renault 3.5. But his second season in the category was a major disappointment, frustrated by car trouble and then comprehensively overshadowed by new team mate Antonio Felix da Costa in the second half of the year.
Caterham continued to support his career and in 2013 he entered GP2 with them at the second round. It took until the final round for him to score his breakthrough win, which moved him up to ninth in the standings.
His winter testing pace raised expectations for the following season but they were not met. The team endured a difficult start to the year, and with the F1 team faring even worse a change of management soon had consequences for Rossi, who left them in July to join Marussia.
The move soon paid off, as the following month Marussia decided to replace regular driver Max Chilton with Rossi at the Belgian Grand Prix.