Auto - Herbie-inspired Rossi catches F1 bug

Manor Marussia F1 Team's US driver Alexander Rossi is seen before the practice session of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore on September 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (AFP Photo/PHILIPPE LOPEZ)

- Alexander Rossi said he was hoping to secure a permanent seat in Formula One after becoming the sport's first American driver in eight years at the Singapore Grand Prix. Rossi, who chose racing number 53 for his car in honour of the "Herbie" films, has just five grands prix to make his case after being drafted in by British back-markers Manor. "I've got five races to show what I'm capable of," Rossi told AFP at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. "It's a difficult situation considering we're a bit off the pace of the other cars, so it's not about beating the other cars, it's about showing what I can do against my team." Rossi only found out on Tuesday that he would replace Roberto Merhi for five of the year's last seven races.