Esteban Gutierrez is set to be confirmed as Haas F1 Team’s second driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season next Friday ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas’ new F1 team will finally hit the grid in 2016 after two years of planning, with current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean set to lead its charge after being announced as its first driver at the end of last month.
Ex-Sauber driver Gutierrez has been the favorite for a seat at Haas for some time given his current reserve driver role with Ferrari – with whom Haas has a technical partnership – and backing from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex.
Speaking to NBCSN’s Steve Matchett, Haas confirmed once again that the second seat would be given to a Ferrari reserve driver, narrowing the decision down to Gutierrez and colleague Jean-Eric Vergne.
“It’s no secret it will be one of the reserve drivers at Ferrari,” Haas said. “There’s a lot of negotiations going back and forth. We’ll wait until the ink is dry.”
However, speaking to Sky Sports, Haas suggested that the deal was done, saying that there would be an announcement in Mexico City on Friday ahead of Gutierrez’s home event.
“We’re going to make an announcement in Mexico City on Friday night,” Haas said.
“I think you can work that one out.”
Gutierrez spent two years racing in F1 with Sauber, scoring six points in total before joining Ferrari as its reserve driver for 2015.