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Motorsport | Formula 1

Rossi leaves Caterham F1 team



The new owners of the struggling Caterham Formula One team have cut more than 40 staff from the payroll while American reserve driver Alexander Rossi announced on Wednesday he had also left.

Rossi, who terminated his agreement with British-based Caterham F1 and the GP2 team, took part in Friday first practice at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, last year and had been due to do so again at the end of October.

"I will no longer be racing for Caterham as of today. It's been an emotional couple of years with the team, the highlight being driving with them in Austin last year," he said on his Facebook page.

"Now it's time to move on. My goal is to be in F1 and add value to the sport and I'm very optimistic about my next steps; we have a great opportunity to grow the sport in the States and I believe the timing is perfect."

Rossi had been one of Caterham's reserves since 2012, mainly carrying out work in the simulator while also racing in the GP2 support series.

The 22-year-old will compete for the Spanish-based Campos Racing team in the German GP2 round at Hockenheim this weekend.

The American has also been linked in the media to a new US-based Formula One team being planned by NASCAR team owner Gene Haas and due to debut in 2016.

Haas said in April he hoped to field an experienced driver and a young American in his eventual line-up.

Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes sold Caterham earlier this month to a group of unidentified Swiss and Middle Eastern investors with former F1 team principal Colin Kolles taking on an advisory role.

Kolles told Reuters at this month's British Grand Prix that the team would need to shrink to cut costs in a fight for survival.

"I prefer to have 200 safe jobs than 300 lost jobs," said the Romanian-born former Midland, Spyker and HRT principal.

Reports on Wednesday indicated that more than 40 employees had left the Leafield factory so far, including deputy technical head Jody Eggington and head of track operations Gerry Hughes.

There was no comment from Caterham, who are currently 11th and last in the standings and have yet to score a point in more than four years of trying

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