Haas F1 no American drivers


As TJ13 reported last week, Haas F1 team principal – Gunther Steiner – has set about reversing some of the ideas championed by Gene Haas when he announced his F1 entry last summer.

Gone is the notion that Haas is just a Ferrari ‘B’ team, and Steiner is now reported in the German media as stating that Haas personnel are the ones making the key calls around the chassis design and not Haas sub-contractor Dallara.

Steiner has also stated categorically that Haas F1 will select its own drivers and not be influenced by Ferrari. There is now an internal deadline Haas F1 has set for the declaration of the team’s two race drivers for 2016.

“Our plan is to be clear of talks by August/September and then announce them,” says Steiner.

The romanticism of an American Formula One team with American drivers is not lost on Haas, however, Steiner knowns he will need the best pilots he can get.

“We are looking at American drivers, but being American doesn’t give you an automatic drive.”

It is almost certain that in year one Haas F1 will run two non-American drivers, because the team will need all the experience they can get behind the wheel.

Gunther strongly hints at this when he says: “An experienced American would be something different, but there is nobody out there and what we need is somebody who needs to guide us a little bit as well, that we know where we stand.

“We need to have a known factor in this team. The team is new, everything is new, so if you throw in new drivers [to F1] – if we have a problem we don’t know where we got it wrong.”

There are no current experienced F1 race drivers who are American.

Alexander Rossi probably the closest American to getting an F1 seat, but he is driving in GP2 this year and has had a promising start. His third and fourth places in Bahrain sees him standing third in the drivers’ championship. Realistically, this year’s title should be a romp for McLaren’s Stoffel van Doorne who is driving for ART.

The question is – who do the TJ13 readers think will end driving for Haas F1 in 2016.

44 responses to “Haas F1 no American drivers

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Karthikeyan in one of their seats … that bloke keeps coming back everytime you finally thought F1 was rid of him.

  2. Thinking mclaren, ferrari, williams, red bull, force india and lotus will all be keen to keep their current drivers due to either ability or funding….

    New teams are typically towards the back of the grid, short on parts and in the need of mileage, so someone with formula one experience, just happy to be on the grid, good at bring the car home / not crashing…

    • Exactly… any experienced Ferrari drivers will be in a prime position, as they may lower the cost of the Ferrari products to the Haas team.

      So the experienced Ferrari drivers directly associated with Scuderia but w/out a seat include:
      * Gutiérrez
      * Vergne
      * Marc Gené

      I don’t see any other experienced F1 drivers working for SF, (per their website).

    • Chilton is racing Indy Lights, the series below Indy cars and is getting beaten by his teammate.

  3. JEV seems a relatively obvious choice to me. Genuine ability and a Ferrari stamp of approval, even if that’s not supposed to matter.

  4. I think they will go with Alexander Rossi and Jean Eric Vergne/Esteban Guitterez but I hope they will go with Simona di Silvestro and Jean Eric Vergne

  5. I’d like to see Sebastien Bourdais in a car that is not a Toro Rosso. Aside from his general racing credentials he’s actually the first non-native who managed to actually perform on par with the championship drivers in V8 Supercars.

  6. “we need is somebody who needs to guide us a little bit as well,”

    So drivers DO develop cars, do they not?

    • Drivers give direction to engineers… drivers tell which car behavior they least like and it’s up to the engineer to develop a solution. This is also why usually drivers who can even get the most out of a bad car are not good at developing a car. The car is driveable to them so a lot of the changes that needed to be made are not always conveyed or if they are conveyed they are conveyed with the wrong priority.

      • @RobDin and @Vortex Motio

        Exactly. Drivers are instrumental in car development. Drivers “lead car development”, and this allows engineers to work on the areas of the car that matter. As Brawn once said of Hamilton: Drivers are “part of the solution.”

    • Hey, maybe that was their plan: to hire all the drivers available in F1 and resell them at a higher price.

  7. “The question is – who do the TJ13 readers think will end driving for Haas F1 in 2016.”

    Kovalainen and Trulli? 🙂

    Haas’ F1 debut looks eerily similar to that of Caterham… Promised a regulation change that shall not materialize by the time they get on the grid. They risk ending up in the same ballpark as Manor (the engine shall be the same), and without funds (or even with) roasting in the backmarker’s hell for a number of years…

  8. Chilton really could have a shot here, F1 experience, steady hands, making a name for himself in America as we speak.

    But on a more serious note Kamui looks a good shout, as would be a talented young gun on one of the top teams books.

  9. Regardless of who the drivers are, with Steiner, all I can see are Downfall parodies after every race.

    • The use-by of one of those had passed him by years before his team Principal woke up.

  10. Scoring either Bourdais or Kovalainen would be smart on Haas F1. Throw in one of the few Female drivers capable of driving an F1 car and let Madison avenue do what it does. The buzz alone would provide ample cover for what will undoubtedly be the many shortfalls experienced by the new team.

  11. Pretty sure the DAMS boys will have something to say about the GP2 title, but agree that Stoffel is the strongest

  12. Kurt Busch? Avg. NASCAR road course finish = 7th, weight 150lbs, 5’11”. Jordan Taylor? I think the experience factor is overrated. How many of the drivers had driven before at COTA or Sochi when those tracks debuted? Ryan Hunter-Reay, maybe a bit old but hey, so is Alonso… How about Spencer Pigot? He rocked the F2000 and Pro Mazda series.

  13. Let’s not forget the new Super License points. There may not be an American who CAN qualify for a license…………….

  14. Despite GS saying they are independent of Ferrari there is still a pressing link that would solve part of their driver problem as Ferrari has 2 reserve drivers that are far from novices and one of them, JEV is IMO a very accomplished, hungry pilot and the other, Esteban Gutiérrez, while not American is the nearest thing there is. It might suit Ferrari well to let one go.

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