Haas not planning to sign reserve driver in near future

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Haas team principal Günther Steiner has revealed that there are currently no plans to sign a reserve driver ahead of its debut season in Formula 1.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas will take his eponymous team onto the grid for the first time at the Australian Grand Prix in March, becoming the first American outfit to race in F1 since the unrelated Haas-Lola operation in 1986.

Former Lotus racer Romain Grosjean and Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez will race for the team in 2016, but Steiner confirmed to GPUpdate that there were no plans to draft in a third driver as back-up to begin with.

“No, not yet,” Steiner said. “We left that a little bit alone for the moment. Maybe we will do something in the future.

“And I say maybe, but for the near future we are not going to do a lot with reserve drivers and development drivers. We have got a steep mountain to climb, so we don’t want to distract ourselves.”

Steiner confirmed last week that Haas was planning to roll its car out for the first time on February 21, one day before the first pre-season test in Barcelona where it will enjoy its maiden on-track run-out.