Former Marussia racer Max Chilton says he “would love the chance” to secure one of the two Haas F1 team seats for 2016, but admits this is a long shot.
The US outfit is set to enter the sport next year and team principal Guenther Steiner recently claimed that he wants to secure the squad’s line-up by September.
Although Chilton confirmed to Sky Sports that he “has had a few chats” with Haas, the Briton remains aware of its strong technical partnership with Ferrari, which somehow limits his leverage in the negotiations.
“I’ve definitely put my door through the door,” said the 24-year-old. “They came out a few weeks ago, saying they were talking to 10 drivers, so I’m definitely one of those. I’d love the chance.
“But I have a strong feeling that this is going to be one young Ferrari driver, because it’s hugely a Ferrari project. They’ve got Ferrari engine, they’re using that wind tunnel.”
In his latest Haas F1 team update, Steiner also revealed that the new entrants were favouring experience over outright speed in their selection process. Having spent two seasons in F1, Chilton, who is racing in both LPM1 and Indy Lights this year, argues that he can fit the bill in that respect but equally keeps his feet on the ground.
“I hear they want an experienced driver. I’d like to think I am an experienced driver but if they want a really experienced one, I think there’s only a certain number of drivers on that grid they can ask.
“It could be Hulkenberg. I can’t see Jenson [Button] going there but I can’t see many experienced drivers that are free for next year. I’d like to think I’ve got a chance but it’s probably not going to happen.”
Chilton is the latest name linked to Haas' current shortlist, along with Ferrari test and reserve drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne, reigning Le Mans 24 Hours champion and Force India racer Nico Hulkenberg, and US multiple GP2 race winner Alexander Rossi.
Click here for F1i's driver ratings after the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.