Haas looking to share F1 reserve driver with Ferrari

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Team owner Gene Haas says having a common reserve driver with another outfit - most notably Ferrari - would be ideal, though the US businessman does not think the role holds that much importance.

Haas is currently preparing to enter Formula One on the back of a strong technical association with Maranello, having also signed the Scuderia’s reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez to partner Romain Grosjean.

Haas has repeatedly claimed that his foray into F1 did not narrow down to fielding a Ferrari B-team, but admits he could turn to the Italian outfit once again if one of its drivers needed to be replaced.

“We don’t have a reserve driver at the moment,” the 63-year-old told Sports Business Daily. “If we can find a common reserve driver with Ferrari or someone that would probably be the best way to do that.

“With the safety there is today you generally speaking need a reserve driver just for sickness or some other emergency.

“The need for a reserve driver probably isn’t as important as you think. We don’t typically have reserve drivers in NASCAR either.”

European F3 rising star Charles Leclerc, who is managed by Nicolas Todt and set to enter the Ferrari Driver Academy, has already been tipped for a development role with Haas.

Meanwhile, Ferrari has yet to officially announce Gutierrez’ successor, but Jean-Eric Vergne, who joined Maranello last year, could potentially step up to the plate.

The Frenchman’s promotion would be a coherent move since his name already featured among the 10 that Haas had shortlisted when working on its 2016 pairing.

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