Haas Formula One team principal Gunther Steiner does not believe that there are any American drivers who are currently ready or have what it takes to compete in Formula One.
An American driver has not driven in a Formula One race since current IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi drove in five races for Manor Marussia in the 2015 season.
The Haas team, which is owned by Gene Haas, who is the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, is the lone United States-based Formula One team of the 10 teams currently in the sport. Their American base is located in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
As the lone American-based Formula One team, the Haas team want an American driver driving for their team. The team’s current drivers are Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Grosjean, 31, is French and hails from Geneva, Switzerland, while Magnussen, 25, is Danish and hails from Roskilde, Denmark. However, while the team say they want an American driver, Steiner doesn’t believe that any American drivers are “ready” to drive for the team in the sport.
Here is what he had to say when asked about fielding an American driver, according to Autosport.com.
“It’s not on top of our list. It’s on top of our list if there’s a good one. Obviously, we want one. But then maybe, if there is a really good one, would they come to us? Just having an American driver who maybe cannot compete at a certain level is maybe not good for the sport.
“[Signing an American driver] would be an ambition, but at the moment there is nobody ready for F1 in the United States in my opinion. They are both worthy of staying. Do either of them want to stay? That’s the next thing. There is a lot of factors which come into that.
“People want to say we take somebody else, but no. We’re not. We are fine. [For 2019] I don’t know yet, but I will tell you in due course.”
Last October, Steiner also remarked that 2017 IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden would struggle if he came to Formula One, so just how accurate are his remarks?