Rossi's Indycar Timeline

A lot has been made about Alexander Rossi's short tenure in Indycar. So I threw together a timeline of events illustrating that this is old news. Here are some things about Alexander Rossi's past affiliation with Indycar:

March 24th, 2013 - Rossi was asked about growing up in America and if he ever thought about racing in America if F1 never panned out, and Alexander said,

"Never. My goal and focus has always been F1. And I’ve never had an interest in IndyCar. Not because there’s anything I don’t like about it, its just that I’ve always watched F1. I’ve never been to an IndyCar race, but I have been to a lot of Champ Car races in the early to mid 1990s and to me that was even better than F1. If the Champ Car series still existed then I would prefer to race in that over F1, but not the current IndyCar series."

August 14th, 2013 - Rossi is quoted as saying (all a continuous quote from an interview),

“For me personally as a driver IndyCar is something I’m not incredibly interested in solely because of the ovals. If the majority went back to road courses and street courses like it was, yeah, it’s something I would consider. But for the time being the ovals are something I’m not interested in first of all and second of all I think that I have an opportunity in Formula One and I want to exploit that.

I don’t know if it’s this generation or what, it’s just something that, for me, the risk is just too high. And I don’t know if in a previous time when accidents happened more often and they were sometimes more severe people got more used to it but as the younger generation is coming up it’s not something we’re used to seeing. When it does happen it definitely puts you off a bit, it comes as a big shock. For me that’s the main reason why IndyCar isn’t an interest.

I haven’t followed [the series] that much since it split.

For me in the late nineties growing up I watched Champ Car and for me that was the best championship that there was, for me it was even better than F1. But when they split it ruined it and they lost a lot of fans and people got confused and then it just kind of slid.

I think IndyCar in its own right is a very competitive championship and very difficult to win. But I think that it’s lost its edge and I think that, if anything, that’s almost a good thing for Formula One because people are kind of looking for something else in terms of open-wheel racing because like I say it’s not that popular.”

July 24th, 2014 - Rossi gets interviewed and says,

"Am I as opposed to IndyCar as I was before? Probably not. All of our efforts are focused towards F1 as they have been. But depending on how things go, yeah, I'm definitely open to IndyCar. If you'd asked me last December, I would have said no, but with things changing on this side, I'm open to it, definitely."

November 1st, 2014 - Rossi gives an interview and says,

"There have been a couple conversations and dialogue back and forth with some IndyCar teams. But beyond that, it’s very, very limited because everyone’s kind of aware of the fact that I am Formula One, if you will, I am someone that is pushing for Formula One. So it’s always good to build relationships and talk to as many people as you can, but I’m 100 percent committed to F1.”

December 1st, 2014 - One month after his comments, Rossi announces that he will be focusing on America, mainly Indycar, for the upcoming 2015 season. This in large part has to do with his opportunities at Caterham and Manor disappearing.

Canadian F1 Grand Prix: Practice
Rossi in his test role at Montreal in 2013 (Photo: Paul Gillham / Getty Images North America)

December 20th, 2014 - Rossi and Dale Coyne meet, with Rossi getting very close to a deal. Rossi visits the Dale Coyne Racing shop and even gets as far as a seat fitting for the DW-12.

February 27th, 2015 - After being on the doorstep of an Indycar deal all offseason, Rossi takes an offer to race in GP2 for Racing Engineering for the 2015 season. He says, "My ultimate goal has never wavered, and still remains F1."

September 16th, 2015 - Rossi signs on with Manor Marussia F1 Team to race five of the last seven races of the 2015 Formula 1 season. His best finish would be P12 at Austin.

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice
Rossi at Japan in 2015 (Photo: Dan Isittene / Getty Images AsiaPac)

November 18th, 2015 - Rossi reflects on 2015 and his difficult offseason, saying that Indycar was never his goal, and that F1 has always been the goal.

February 23rd, 2016 - Rossi signs on with new alliance between Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport to pilot the #98 car full-time in 2016. The seat was formerly occupied by Gabby Chaves.

Rossi testing an Indycar for the first time (Photo: Indycar Media)

March 9th, 2016 - Rossi announces that he will be a reserve driver at Manor F1 while also being an Indycar driver. He says that he is ready for the travel demands, but that ultimately it was disappointing to miss out on the Manor seat because he worked hard for it.

My Opinion

I've been on record publicly saying that I will give Alexander Rossi his fair shake in Indycar. He will get a chance to earn my respect on the track, because Rossi has all but lost my respect off of the track. He hasn't even raced in an Indycar race yet, and it seems like he already has one foot out the door. Given his past record, it isn't surprising. He has burnt bridges with Indycar in the past, but yet he now welcomes and cherishes the opportunity to race in it? I call bullshit. First impressions matter, and Rossi has failed miserably.

If you ever wondered why I don't like Alexander Rossi, her you go.

Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey