“We’re Helping Each Other”- Haas Open to Repaying Ferrari Through their Junior Programme




Haas F1 are one of the teams possibly looking to make wholesale changes to their driver lineup for 2021. The young F2 trio of Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott, and Robert Shwartzman have all been rumored to be on their shortlist, thanks to Haas’ partnership with Ferrari.

As a result, the American team is ready to give the trio an opportunity to test themselves in F1 machinery during a free practice session on Friday.

All three of the aforementioned talents are a part of Ferrari’s driver academy. And Haas boss Guenther Steiner is open to accommodate them for a practice session during the remainder of the campaign. But only if the Scuderia so desire.

He said, “It could be (that we run a Ferrari junior driver in Friday practice). That’s more a Ferrari thing, if they ask us to help out. They are helping us out this year because we have got our issues this year with the COVID.

“So they are helping us and in the end, we’re helping each other. If they ask, I would be open to discussing it at least.”

Schumacher, Ilott, and Shwartzman are currently first, second and fourth respectively in the F2 Drivers’ Championship standings. All three of them stand a very good chance of winning the championship with 6 races still to go and only 21 points separating the three.

Haas F1 spoilt for options to select 2021 lineup

The American team have plenty of choices to pick from, ranging from experienced veterans to up-and-coming prospective future champions.

The most lucrative signing would be Sergio Perez, who was released from Racing Point. The Mexican has entered 188 F1 races and has finished on the podium 8 times.

Incumbent Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at the drivers press conference in Russia
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – Incumbent Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Checo has always delivered consistent and solid performances every season, and Haas would definitely get a driver who is an upgrade on Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Another experienced option is Nico Hulkenberg (181 races). If Kimi Raikkonen signs on and Alfa get one of either Hulkenberg or Schumacher, Giovinazzi could be another option that opens up.

Who knows, perhaps Haas may throw a curveball and decide to stick with their current lineup.