Drivers, Melbourne, 2014

Haas want ‘experienced driver plus young American’

2015 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Drivers, Melbourne, 2014Haas Formula want a mixture of experience and youth including an American for their first F1 driver line-up.

Team founder Gene Haas told media “I think we would like to have an experienced Formula One driver” when they make their entry into F1 next year or the year after.

Haas is hoping to recruit “someone who’s familiar with the current engine package rules – they’ve changed quite a bit even from last year”.

“Then going forward we would certainly like to have a young American driver, that would be an ideal situation,” he added.

“But at the moment we haven’t really narrowed it down. We’ve had quite a few people talk to us, sending in applications that they would be interested.

“But we don’t have anything at the moment, other than that we would need someone who is an experienced, current Formula One driver that maybe becomes available in the next six months to a year and maybe, let’s say a younger driver that has a lot of potential, hopefully that would be an American driver.”

Guenther Steiner said that now the team has been granted a licence by the FIA they can begin recruiting technical staff.

“The real work starts now,” he said. “We need to get the people, we need to define if we start in ’15 or ’16, and we need to pick our partner.

“And out of that will also the main – not only technical people – logistical people, All the people come from, where we go. Therefore it takes a bit of time to get there but we have spoken to people already.”

“I cannot say who is on the short list, we’re in contact with people,” he added.

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88 comments on “Haas want ‘experienced driver plus young American’”

  1. Alonso, Rossi.

    I joke, but hey, if Haas end up being fast (they won’t – probably), could be good.

    1. I imagine Rossi is actually a serious contender. As for Alonso, they can only dream

      1. Unless Alonso really gets fed up with Ferrari :P Doubt he’d ever do it as he wants another title, but hey, if he really wants out…

        1. If Alonso hints at moving out, McLaren/Honda are waiting to take him. That would be a better seat for FA. I don’t think Haas would really get an experienced driver easily.

          1. if mclaren want alonso they could bring him in and axe button who has plenty of experience for a new team, or kovaleinen? rossi is the standout young us driver for me

      2. I reckon it wouldn’t be a bad gamble for Alonso. If he wants our of Ferrari, and the other top seats are taken, the opportunity to raise his profile in the US could be very lucrative.

        1. Alonso wants to:
          Win races.
          Win championships.
          Beat Vettel.
          Beat everyone.

          That’s it. That’s all.

          1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
            15th April 2014, 4:01

            he should have driven for hrt…

        2. I dont think he needs the money at this stage..he’s been the highest paid F1 driver (based on base salary) for sometime now. He wants to win more than anything else. In fact, Im pretty sure he would drive this year’s Merc for free!

          Im willing to put some money (Ok..about 10 bucks!) on Alonso being at Mclaren next year. This is F1, crazier things have happened!

          1. There is NO WAY that Alonso will EVER race again in McLaren. Ron Dennis will never forget that Alonso cost McLaren 100 million dollars and a brand damage. For incompetence and saying stupid things as Alonso would be welcomed back at Mc, Whitmarsh is no longer there. Ron Dennis never forgets.

          2. Ron Dennis will never forget that Alonso cost McLaren 100 million dollars and a brand damage.

            Did Alonso personally recruit Stepney as a mole? Or actually steal anything himself?

    2. My guess is Sutil or even Perez/Gutierrez. First one because of his experience and the second two because of them experience and market orientation.

  2. daly or rossi then. haas joining is great news for those guys!

    1. Looks like the stars are aligning for Alexander Rossi.. which is good for him, as Will Stevens currently looks more impressive in FR 3.5, and Robin Frijns is ahead of him in the queue at Caterham. But if General Eletric’s deal with Caterham depends on Rossi being there that’s a tricky one to untangle.. unless they join Haas as well.

      Kobayashi and Kovalainen would be a good shout.. What about Kobayashi, Rossi and Daly at Haas, and Ericsson, Frijns and Stevens at Caterham?

  3. If it’s for 2015, then the American will surely be Rossi. The other driver should be someone that’s racing this year but will lose their seat at the end of the season. Sutil? Vergne? Kobayashi? Perhaps Massa, but I doubt he’d want to race for a backmarker team. Same goes for Button.

    I say Vergne and Rossi. That would be a very decent line-up for a newcomer team, and it doesn’t seem impossible.

    1. Was thinking more or less the same: a Kobayashi~Rossi line-up.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        15th April 2014, 4:03

        frijns??? he is getting to know the new PU pretty well…

    2. please please please NOT Sutil.

    3. He could go for Button – Rossi (Daly as third driver) but seems to me it’s a long shot.

      If Toro Rosso decides to give Felix da Costa a chance next year if he performs well as DTM driver this season, JEV would be a decent pick for Haas.

      Other alternatives would be:

      Sergio Perez
      Romain Grosjean
      Kamui Kobayashi

    4. If it were my team I’d seriously consider Paul Di Resta, as the experienced driver.

    5. It won’t be 2015. I think it’ll be Rossi and whoever ends up without a seat for 2016 who will most likely not have much pace but will have a decent bit of experience. Sadly, someone like Sutil fits the bill perfectly.

  4. Personally I’d prefer Conor Daly. And it’s good knowing there’ll be work for the likes of Sutil next season.

    1. Me too, Daly! I don’t overlook Rossi, but Daly is a big talent who just lacks funding.

      They both are born in’91, so they’re young – but not that much, and Daly is born in Indina, come on!

    2. Daly is a better sport than Rossi, in my opinion, but not by much. They are both extremely talented.

      As for the experienced guy… Buemi comeback? He’s not a veteran but he’s no rookie either.

      1. If I’m Buemi I would not be leaving that very cushy and competitive Toyota WEC gig.

      2. Won’t be Buemi. He’s got no experience with the new PU’s. I could see Vergne getting the boot from Torro Rosso this year, though (unfortunately). Chilton or Bianchi might not be a bad get for Haas, either. They aren’t the fastest on the grid, but how much of that is their car, and how much is the driver, I’m not sure.

        Grosjean would be a good choice though, and if Lotus doesn’t improve their finances this year, I’m not even sure they’ll be on the grid next year.

        There’s also Sauber– by 2015, I expect one of Massa, Bottas or Silvestro to be available as an F1 driver.

      3. He wants a guy with new PU experience… Buemi is not an option

        1. @jcost, I disagree. As Redbull’s third driver, he is doing lots of hours in the simulator. He probably has alot of know-how, and experience at the highest level. He probably get’s to drive the car from time to time, and thus knows the real-life feeling as well. He is definitly an option for Haas in my oppinion.

    3. Mark Webber!

      Seriously speaking though, Vergne perhaps? I don’t imagine Toro Rosso will be willing to retain him for much longer with the likes of Carlos Sainz Jr. sitting in anticipation and the current Red Bull drivers looking fairly secure in their places until at least the end of next season, so it might be a good place for him.

      1. @vettel1
        Mark Webber as Team Principal ?


      2. You beat me to Mark Webber. But since we are going silly. Mark Webber as principal and Vettel as experienced driver.

  5. Someone give Jaime Alguersuari a call. some of you are going to laugh at this but i think he was turning into a solid driver when Red bull left him stranded.

    1. I agree (and I think everyone does who remembers him), I liked Buemi a bit more but certainly Alguersuari was the better driver of the pair (at least for this category). So weird that he’s turned 24 only last month and it’s already his third year out of F1.

    2. I agree with you regarding Jaime but I think he wants a driver that has experience with the current regulations which Jaime just doesn’t have. I’m thinking Sutil/Kobayashi + Rossi/Daly (though I have a feeling that Rossi might have the edge if Daly doesn’t get the funding for a full GP2 season).

      I think Force India’s approach might be the best one – they could’ve taken Karun purely based on nationality alone but there were better/more experienced drivers out there. Could go either way I guess.

  6. The young American surely has to be Alexander Rossi. I can’t see Daly or any other American I can roll off the tip of my tongue being ready in time.

    For the experienced driver, I can see it being possibly a driver that will be axed this season. Judging by how it is shaping up at STR at the moment, it is only a matter of time before Vergne is replaced by Sainz Jr. or Da Costa. Only other suitable drivers around are Sutil and one of the many solid test drivers, although the more experienced ones would stand a better chance.

    This is assuming that this will be for 2015. Too early to think 2016 driver lineup.

  7. I’m sticking with my picks of Esteban Gutierrez and Alexander Rossi. Gutierrez would already be a two-year veteran by the time 2015 rolls around, he is North American, brings funding, and right now he’s looking like a good driver for Sauber next to the more experienced Adrian Sutil.

    Something may open up for a driver like Paul di Resta or Kamui Kobayashi down the road, though. They’ve got experience. Thing is, Kobayashi would be making another gamble going to Haas from Caterham, and Di Resta is both a Mercedes man and a driver who doesn’t want to be in a non-competitive scenario.

    1. With the turbo era drastically different from the past, di Resta cannot really bring much experience. Sutil looks like a good possibility if they want experience.

      They can probably take Maldonado if they have some demolition derby to compete in while they prepare themselves to enter F1.

      1. They could swap Maldonado by someone in their NASCAR team. He’d be a blast with the crowds! All those crashes…

    2. Gutierrez is North American in so far as ‘yes, technically Mexico is in NA’, but he’s hardly American material, given than Mexico isn’t in the USA.

      1. There was a strong Mexican/Latin American contingent at COTA, just as there is in the United States as a whole…

    3. Thing is, Kobayashi would be making another gamble going to Haas from Caterham

      It’s not a gamble, Caterham will fire him at the end of the year.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        15th April 2014, 4:08

        caterham wont exist at the end of the year…

    4. I made the same prediction in the forum. They’d both bring good funding from Mexico and the US respectively.
      I also said Haas would use Ford engines.

  8. I’d reckon that Rossi and Kovaleinen would be a good lineup for these chaps :)

  9. I’m guessing the American will be Rossi. Already a test driver for Caterham and familiar with the new power units. Has anyone thought about DiResta for the second driver?

    1. He hasn’t got any experience of the new regs so I don’t think he’d fit the profile. Someone like Sutil, Guiterrez, Chilton, Ericsson, Vergne etc I would have thought would get it.

      Considering Vergne isn’t going to get a Red Bull seat any time soon, I could see him getting dropped and picked up by soeone like Haas.

  10. “someone who’s familiar with the current engine package rules – they’ve changed quite a bit even from last year”

    That “even” worries me. It shows that they were willing to say that, had the engines not changed this year, the engine package rules would still have changed “quite a bit”, which means they would be willing to consider drivers from the V10 era as “experienced”…

    Hum… Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    1. To be honest, it will have been a spoken interview so I doubt each word can be scruitinised too harshly. He won’t have pre-written it or anything.

      I imagine he’s simply saying that he wants someone familiar with the new regs…

  11. I suspect Button will be let go for ALO or Vandoorne at the end of this season or next, so perhaps HaasF1 can pick up BUT and Daly/Rossi.

    1. They dont come more experienced than Button now do they?

  12. If Lotus continue with their financial problems, how about a Grosjean/Rossi lineup?

  13. Why do people in F1 sometimes talk about favoring a driver based on their nationality, as if it’s something commendable. In most businesses, you’d get yourself an ethics commission all over you, for discriminating against someone with better qualifications, just because they are not of the same colour or the same nationality as your company.

    They can perhaps justify it with sponsorship packages and markets they are targeting, but it’s still hardly commendable and it seems like something you’d do, if you have to compromise performance for funds.

    1. I see it that its an American team, based in America. With a (good) American driver in it, theres some lucrative sponsorship potential to American businesses. Simple really, but playing some patriotic card too will help recruit those sponsors.

    2. Mr Trotter: In other words Bus-i-ness…. Capiche?

      Ethics in Business is an oxymoron.

    3. Yeah, I mean, why was McLaren trumpeting their two British drivers? Or Mercedes their two German drivers?

      Haas wants an American driver because he wants to showcase what an American team can do, which isn’t completely unreasonable. He doesn’t feel “the World Championship” has enough Americans in it, and since the majority of the drivers (70%) and teams (100%) are actually European, he might have a point.

    4. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      15th April 2014, 4:13

      the only reason to put an american in the seat: money! but that is in the end his only reason to get into the F1 circus: money. so, it´s logical that he wants an american driver, even if he is not good at all…

    5. For the same reason he wants his team to be based in the US.

    6. It’s similar to only bringing in a driver if they have sponsorship. If you get an American driver in an American team, you’ll pick up lots of additional interest in the team (providing they don’t crawl round in last place)

  14. based in the usa ? never mind the logistics problems , where is he going to get the personel he will need to be other than a back runner ?

    1. I’d be surised if they were anywhere other than dead last (by a decent margin) even if they doubled their budget and set up a base at Silverstone.

    2. “where is he going to get the personnel”? Really? I think we might have one or two aero/mechanical/petro engineers here in the States (MIT, Cal Tech, Stanford…). As for the drivers, Rossi and Buemi (if you can get him away from Toyota).

  15. Quinn (@quinnolabar)
    14th April 2014, 22:16

    Kobayashi, Rossi. It would bring a young, talented American into a race seat and Kobayashi has the experience and the fire this team need to get off to a good start. Also, I don’t see Caterham’s fortunes changing in the near future so it would be natural for Kobayashi to jump ship.

    1. Kobayashi deserves way more than another start up team. He should be competing at the front of the grid and I still believe he has a chance to progress with Caterham, it’s going to depend on how big the upgrade is at Barcelona however.

      Haas are going to struggle to make the grid, just as every other new team has. The first year will be the hardest, if they can survive that they have a chance to progress. But it wont be using Dalllara chassis, they cant just buy an aero package. They will soon find out they need to be designing everything themselves, and thats when the costs will start to mount.

  16. N J (@jewishjarvis)
    14th April 2014, 22:36

    Grosjean and Rossi
    If not, Grosjean and Bianchi

  17. N J (@jewishjarvis)
    14th April 2014, 22:36

    Grosjean and Rossi
    If not, Grosjean and Bianchi

  18. Depending on how the year goes for who re contract extensions looks like they’ll be after:


    In order of desirability

  19. If the HAAS Team sign Honda as the PU supplier, they will have Barrichello as the “experienced” driver to develop the car. He is cheap and knows a lot about car development. He obviously has no experience with the current PU, but, testing is so limited now that he would not be in a too disadvantageous position.

    Hey, speculation is free…

    1. Ben (@scuderia29)
      15th April 2014, 14:04

      god nooo…barrichello will be 44 for the 2016 season, theres no way rubens would consider it

  20. Haas should get straight on the phone to Bob Bell and Paul Di Resta. Then call Mercedes engine sales department and ask about being their 4th team post-McLaren.

    1. If Ross Brawn returns to F1 then I can see Bob Bell alongside him. But that is a good shout.. although I can see Paul di Resta as Mercedes reserve driver.

      If Honda come in, and Ford look to return (along with the rumoured BMW/Porsche).. it’s hard to imagine a supplier having 4 teams, even one as dominant as Mercedes. Other suppliers will need more than one team to spread costs. Honda and Toyota-man Kobayashi may not gel together at Haas, though.

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