Drivers unsure of Haas F1’s plans beyond this year

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Drivers unsure of Haas F1’s plans beyond this year

Formula 1

Drivers unsure of Haas F1’s plans beyond this year

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Haas team principal Gene Haas has yet to make a decision on whether he will keep the team in Formula 1 next year, according to drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

The American team is the last fully new constructor to join the F1 grid, having made its debut in 2016 and impressed from the outset. A best constructors’ championship finish of fifth in 2018 was followed by ninth last season, and with no real prospect of winning races under the current regulations Gene Haas has been weighing up whether he still sees enough value for his Haas Automation business in funding an F1 team, something Grosjean admits leaves a big unknown when it comes to his and the team’s future.

“We’ve only done two races and obviously on track is where you can show (potential) to the outside world,” Grosjean said when RACER asked the Haas drivers about their futures. “There’s a lot of question marks here, let’s get rid of the elephant in the room: Is Haas going to be here next year or not? I think that’s obviously a question. What are the other places available? Obviously the market got shaken up quite quickly this year with the Ferrari announcement and the following things, so we will see what the opportunities are.

“Personally I’m looking a little bit but not rushing anything and seeing how things are going. I don’t believe the decision has been made yet, so there’s nothing to be said. We just need to go racing and race as we did in Austria. Get the best out of the team, out of the strategy, out of the drivers, and show the best we can do. Obviously in the end Gene knows the answer — or doesn’t know but will tell the answer at some point — and until that point I can’t really give you any direction.

“I hope for Formula 1 and for everything that Haas will be here on the grid next year. Out of all the new teams that came into Formula 1 it’s obviously the one that was the most successful, a bit more of a solid baseline, so there’s definitely a place for Haas in Formula 1. But again, I’m not the one taking the decision, so time will tell.”

Grosjean added that he has not been told anything internally about Haas’ plans, and teammate Magnussen admits he is in the same position but simply has to wait to find out more.

“I’ve now got a little bit more experience in Formula 1 and grown up a little bit, so I don’t get as concerned about these things as I used to when I was younger,” Magnussen said. “As a team there’s a bunch of people in Haas that are hoping to see the team continue and like their jobs and like their team.

“Of course we’re looking forward to some news and to see whether it continues or not. I don’t know but I hope the chances are good. I feel like we’re doing well. We’ve been fairly successful in a short amount of time as a completely new team, not taking over a previous team. Starting up as a new team and doing well from the beginning has been really impressive to see and of course I’m hoping for it to continue.

“But I’ve grown up a little bit and feel more at ease in these situations. Formula 1 is never a safe place — you can never predict the future, so it’s just about enjoying the moment and then hope for the best in the future.”

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