Danica Patrick, the world’s most famous female racing driver, will not be making the switch to Formula 1 with Haas.
The 32-year-old drives in NASCAR for new Formula 1 entrant Gene Haas’ team, but Haas said on Monday he plans to hire from within the sport for his first year and hopefully pair that driver with a young American.
But he warned that it would be “impossible” for any driver to juggle a NASCAR seat whilst preparing for the big switch to F1.
“I’d certainly never expect any of our current lineup of drivers to want to be able to do that,” said Haas at a news conference alongside his Formula 1 team boss, former Jaguar and Red Bull chief Gunther Steiner.
“It would be really impossible to accomplish that and survive. Just the thought of jumping into a Formula 1 car from a [NASCAR sprint] cup car would be very, very difficult,” he insisted.
Anyway, Haas admitted that a more pressing matter for the next few weeks is to decide whether he is organising a team for 2015 or 2016.
“I think 2015 is too close and 2016 is too far – that’s kind of where I see it,” he said.
“If we wait until 2016 were are going to start delaying and [will have to spend] even more money because we will be a neutral.”
The likely plan, he said, is to pair with a chassis partner like Dallara and “arrive with a car” for the start of the first season.
“We are going to have to beg, borrow and steal to arrive at that first race so we can compete,” said Haas.
“I would say we like 2015, but depending upon who we select as our partner, I don’t know if they can provide all of the infrastructure and technology that we need.
“I think it’s one of those things where we are going to have to find out in the next few weeks,” he added.
Haas said that he is expanding his Nascar headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina, to accommodate the Formula 1 team, adding that a satellite base in Europe is also likely. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.