Haas F1 Team will make a driver announcement on Tuesday September 29 ahead of its debut Formula 1 season in 2016.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas won the race to join the grid back in 2014, but chose to delay his entry to F1 until 2016 so that he could prepare accordingly.
Haas has since signed a technical partnership with Ferrari that will see the team benefit from the Italian marque’s support and enjoy a much-needed boost for its first year in F1.
As the countdown to its debut on April 3 in Melbourne, Australia continues, Haas will add another piece to the puzzle by announcing at least one of its drivers in a press conference on Tuesday. Both Gene Haas and team principal Günther Steiner will be on hand for the announcement.
Romain Grosjean is known to be Haas’ main target for a seat in 2016, and the Frenchman confirmed last week that he has already made a decision about his plans, hinting that a deal with the American team has already been agreed.
Due to the technical partnership with Ferrari, the second seat is set to go to either Esteban Gutierrez or Jean-Eric Vergne who both work as development drivers at Maranello.
Gutierrez is thought to be leading the race due to his greater standing within Ferrari and his sizeable financial support from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex. Other names linked to the seat include Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Rossi, although the latter was ruled out by Steiner earlier this month.
Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.
Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.
“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.
Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”
Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.
“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.
Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”