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Rossi handed Barcelona practice opportunity 04 May 2012

Alexander Rossi (USA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day Three, Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 17 November 2011 Alexander Rossi (USA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One Testing, Day Three, Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, 17 November 2011

Caterham test driver Alexander Rossi will become the first American to participate in a Grand Prix weekend in almost five years when he replaces Heikki Kovalainen in next Friday’s opening practice session in Spain.

Rossi, a veteran of single-seater series including GP2 and GP3, made his last F1 appearance for the team in November’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi and this year is competing in Formula Renault 3.5 with the Arden Caterham squad.

"I am looking forward to getting back into the F1 car in Spain and I want to thank the team for the chance to run in FP1 in Barcelona,” said the 20-year-old Californian. “I have a clear goal for the session - make sure I run to the plan set by the engineers, not make any mistakes and learn as much as I can over the whole weekend.

“I know how much I will be able to take from my time with the team back to my Formula Renault 3.5 commitments and I know the team will do everything they can to help me maximise my performance on Friday."

Caterham technical director, Mark Smith, added: “We are all looking forward to giving Alexander the chance to work with us at a full race weekend. He did a good job in Abu Dhabi when we ran him in the young driver test in 2011 and I am sure he will perform well for us on Friday in Spain."

Rossi took up his official Caterham test role in March, making him the first American F1 driver since Scott Speed left Toro Rosso midway through the 2007 season.

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