Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says talks about how to improve opportunities for American drivers in Formula 1 are still in an exploratory stage.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said last week that the sport was talking with teams to try and work out what the possibilities are for getting a U.S. driver into F1, but believes it won’t happen in the next two or three years. As the principal of the American-owned team, Steiner is regularly asked about the prospect of running an American driver, and when asked about the talks by RACER he admits it’s positive that the sport is trying to make it happen even if firm developments are some way off.
“I think there are always talks going on because there’s a big opportunity in the United States for Formula 1, as we all know,” Steiner said. “But I was not involved in anything too concrete.
“We are not trying to do that at the moment, but I think at some stage — because there’s still a lot that’s possible in the American market — for sure for the near future if something gets done that would be very good for Formula 1 and for Formula 1 in the U.S.”
At present, Steiner is having to deal with a driver line-up of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, with the latter coming under fire for his actions on social media last year and a number of incidents so far in his rookie season. The Haas boss is backing the Russian to prove his doubters wrong.
“I don’t want to speak in terms of convincing them (critics) — time will tell and you need to give people time. It was another tough day for him result-wise (in Barcelona) but what was good was he did the laps, he didn’t do anything to compromise that, and that will make him learn. At some stage he will come to be real.
“The doubters… you’ve always got more naysayers than yaysayers, so I’ve actually no interest in justifying it to them because then it’s a never-ending story and there will always be an answer to things. So I am always a big believe in these things — you need to keep your head down, it’s not how you get down but how you get up. He just needs some time.”