Gene Haas is wary of hiring a junior driver from a larger Formula 1 operation for his eponymous team, believing it “doesn’t really make a lot of sense” from a business perspective to do so.
NASCAR team co-owner Haas hit the F1 grid in 2016 with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez in seats, the latter being replaced by Kevin Magnussen for 2017.
Haas F1 Team enjoys close ties with Ferrari, and has given track time to its two leading juniors – Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi (pictured) – in the past, leading to speculation they could take a full-time race seat in the future.
Haas has already confirmed that Grosjean and Magnussen will continue through 2018, and explained his caution over hiring a junior from another team on business grounds.
“I don’t think we rule it out, but from a business model it doesn’t really make a lot of sense,” Haas said.
“There’s no secret that it costs $60 million to put a car on the track for the season and if someone gives you a driver and not just from Ferrari, from anybody, and they’re going to pay you five or six million dollars, there’s $55 million deficit there somewhere.
“So it doesn’t really make sense to want to run let’s say a partner or a paid driver for compensation. I think our point of view has always been that we need to obtain points and that’s how we generate moving forward and making money.
“So that’s our business model. I think Ferrari respects that and based on that, if there’s some mutual agreement that we could come to we probably would be more open to that.”