Haas poised to diss American drivers (3rd Update)


Reader hopes Gene Haas fails miserably for dissing American drivers

A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, So NASCAR bigwig Gene Haas decides to go F1 racing in "The American F1 team". Except, as AutoRacing1 has been so adept in pointing out, this apparently excludes American drivers. It was obvious that Haas was a bit of an idiot from the start when he commented that Danica Patrick would be given consideration as a driver. Really??? Clearly there was no less qualified choice this side of vintage Formula Fords.

Then he hires this German guy, Steiner, who states that they need drivers with "Experience in F1". So now, it seems to boil down to Esteban Gutierrez, who as I recall wasn't very good, and couldn't get a better seat than test driver (and he probably brought money for that). His "experience" seems to be with Carlos Slim's bank account. So, as a driver choice, FAIL for Haas.

Grosjean is a reasonable choice. He is a good driver. But if they have Grosjean, why can't they hire Alexander Rossi, the American who most deserves a F1 seat? He has beat Stoffel Vandoorne in consecutive race weekends in GP2. That is good enough. He also has experience in the cars .

Is Haas, Mr. NASCAR, incapable of getting sponsors who would back the team with an American driver? I would think that would be a fairly easy get. Nope. It's gonna be Telmex/Haas F1. Doesn’t sound so American, does it? Mr. Haas, I am hoping your Nascarized "non-American" F1 team is dead last. Irene Frederick


At the end of the day it wasn't that Rossi wasn't good enough, it was that his check to buy a Haas seat wasn't big enough

(GMM) Gene Haas has delivered a blow to American GP2 driver Alexander Rossi, all but ruling out a F1 race seat for his fellow Californian.

It is believed Haas, set to make its F1 team debut in 2016, is now close to deciding its first driver lineup, and 23-year-old former Marussia and Caterham tester Rossi had admitted to keeping his fingers crossed.

When asked about his deliberations, Haas told Speed Week: "The silly season is almost over now and we were surprised to find that so many big names are staying with their current teams.

"It would be great to have an American driver," he added, "but there is no one who really makes an impression. I think America needs a better development program that brings drivers to formula one [Editor's Note: Read that as teaches American drivers how to get a sponsor to write a big check because in F1 you don't get a ride unless you buy it.]

"Our dream lineup would be a driver from the Ferrari squad and then someone with formula one experience," said Haas.

08/31/15 With Esteban Gutierrez buying one seat for $15 million (see rumors page), a candidate for the other seat may then be American Marco Andretti, the son of former McLaren racer Michael, even though Haas has said it is looking for more experienced drivers.

"I don't even know if I'm eligible for a (super) license based on the (new) points system," the Indycar driver admitted to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.


Esteban Gutierrez is almost a shoe-in

(GMM) New F1 team Haas' first driver lineup could be known within two weeks.

Team boss Gunther Steiner on Monday said he has drawn up a list of about 10 potential candidates for the new, Ferrari-linked American team.

"It was a good response when we contacted them," he said. "No one said 'Hey, this is new, I don't want to go there'."

Steiner said talks with the drivers are taking place now.

"We are talking with about ten people," he revealed. "Some are higher up the list, some are lower. But we want to see who is out there."

Recent reports have said Ferrari test drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne are high on the list, as is Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

Californian GP2 driver Alexander Rossi, and IndyCar race winner Josef Newgarden have also been mentioned, as has out-of-work German driver Adrian Sutil.

Steiner says experience is "key".

"For sure it is very important. We are a new team — everything else is new, a lot of unknowns, so we need a known quantity. And if the experience is coming with speed, even better.

"I think we can make a decision, or we would like to make a decision, by the end of summer. Then we can get prepared, the car needs to fit the driver, and we also need time to explain to our driver what we are doing," he said.

"He needs to help us as well — 'What do you want from us to get ready?'

"So by September I hope we have the decision for at least one, if not two. Ideally it will be two.

"But we have got interesting candidates, which is very nice for us to have drivers with a good reputation who talk to us seriously. I hope we can pull some of them off," added Steiner.

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