Haas 'sees potential in me', says Deletraz

Louis Deletraz (SUI) Haas Test Driver. 08.11.2018.
© XPB 

Louis Deletraz believes that Haas F1 team owner Gene Haas and principal Guenther Steiner see the potential in him as a serious contender for a future F1 race seat.

The son of former F1 driver Jean-Denis Deletraz - who ran in three Grands Prix races in 1994 and 1995 - will take to the track next week at Yas Marina on the second day of the annual post-season tyre test.

It'll be the 21-year-old Swiss driver's first taste of being at the wheel of a modern Formula 1 car and learning first hand the various procedures involved. He's hoping it won't be his last.

"[They] are sports people and they have a good mentality,” Deletraz said if the Haas management in an interview with Autosport magazine.

"They like the challenge and they see potential in me, they are happy to test me and to see the result and where we can go after that.

"Haas has a really good car. They are one of the first teams outside of the top three, so it’s something we’ve worked on for a while.

“They trust me to get in the car and do a good job, and I will learn as much as I can on the day and do my best to help them move forward."

Currently 11th in this year's Formula 2 championship with Charouz Racing System, Deletraz said that the aim of next week's test is "to be as quick as possible, so that when I am in the car I will be able to be quick and give proper feedback.

“Of course I want to show my potential and speed, but it’s also about working with the whole team. Teams are much bigger in F1, and its about data for them as well."

Race 2, Louis Deletraz (SUI) Charouz Racing System

A sticking point for some young drivers like Dan Ticktum has been amassing enough superlicence points required to be eligible to drive a Formula 1 car in an official FIA test session.

Ticktum is current five points shy of the total over a three-year period which is blocking his way into the second seat at Toro Rosso in 2019. But Deletraz is in a significantly stronger position.

“The key thing here is I have 42 superlicense points so I am available for it," said the Renault Sport Academy member, who is being mentored by Haas driver Romain Grosjean. “To validate that you have to do an F1 test.”

Even so, Deletraz admits that there is little prospect that he could follow his father onto the Grand Prix grid in 2019. But looking further ahead is a different matter,

“I hope that’s the next step," he said. "Next year might be too early, all the seats are taken, but F1 is still the goal. The first step is with testing."

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