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Gene Haas wants current Formula 1 driver to lead new team

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 12:09 | Comments

Gene Haas's team will enter Formula 1 in 2016
Gene Haas's team will enter Formula 1 in 2016

Gene Haas is targeting a current Formula One driver to spearhead his entrance into the sport in 2016.

The American is F1's newest team owner, with Haas Formula due to take their place on the grid in less than two years' time.

After being granted an entry by the FIA earlier this year, Haas is at the start of what will be a long, tough road towards becoming a fully-fledged F1 marque.

Although the 61-year-old was in the paddock over the recent Canadian Grand Prix weekend learning the ropes, doubts are naturally swirling as to whether his plans will come to fruition.

Haas at least has a motor-racing pedigree given he is one half of the successful Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team.

That, though, almost counts for nothing given the millions of pounds required simply to start up in F1 these days, never mind compete.

One key aspect Haas is currently considering is his driver line-up, and unsurprisingly there are a number of names being linked.

"We're looking for an American woman driver!" joked Haas initially, although that is not beyond the realms of possibility as America's top female star Danica Patrick has been mooted.

More seriously, speaking to Press Association Sport, Haas added: "Seat number one is obviously going to be taken by an existing F1 driver who has experience with the current engine package and chassis, and then position two is open.

"Obviously, it would be great if we could put an American in there. That would just be the home run - an American team with an American driver in a European series. That would be phenomenal.

"But it's not essential. We're very flexible on that. Realistically, the number one thing is to make sure we don't embarrass the sport, we arrive prepared and are ready to race.

"We don't want to run around at the back forever. We want to be able to start these races and improve every race we go to."

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