This is his first time out here and although it has taken a while to get into the groove, I think he is now in a position where he can have a good race tomorrow.
Cradling his crash helmet as a herd of photographers knelt before him, it would have been at that point-following the confirmation on Wednesday that he will replace Roberto Merhi in five of the remaining seven races of 2015-the realisation would have hit him.
Alexander Rossi flies by the crowd at the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old Californian, set to become the first American to race in the sport since 2007, lost control of his Manor Marussia near the end of the first 90-minute session and slammed into a wall.
The decision as to whether any session can be run will be down to FIA race director Charlie Whiting, who has curtailed running in the past due to air quality too poor for the medical helicopter to take off in India in 2013, and for whom the air quality for the annual Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai is perpetually a consideration.
Rossi had completed 18 laps during the session but had the slowest time overall, lapping the Marina Bay street circuit nearly six seconds behind the early pacesetter, Germany’s Nico Rosberg. He almost raced for Marussia in Belgium previous year when the team threatened to drop Britain’s Max Chilton in a contractual dispute.
But despite appearing in FP1 at Spa-Francorchamps, Rossi returned to the substitutes’ bench after Chilton’s complications with the team were resolved.
Since Manor’s resurrection, Rossi had appeared to prioritise a seat with the new Haas outfit, who will arrive on the grid in 2016.
“I’m looking forward to Japan because I get to drive an F1 auto again”.
F1 hasn’t had an American competitor since Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed in 1997, and it was a tough start for Rossi when he knocked both right wheels askew in his first run-out.
Yet the very fact the team’s auto is, to all intents and purposes, the same machine Rossi drove at Spa a year ago should ease his adjustment to F1.
“It’s a hard circuit like Monaco where these things can happen”, he said.
Stevens was one of the first drivers out on the circuit in the second session but it was just a brief appearance as he spun into a barrier, damaging his auto .