Steiner 'not involved in anything concrete' on US drivers

Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference.
© XPB 

Efforts to bring fresh American racing talent into Formula 1 are continuing, but Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner says at the moment he's not involved in anything concrete and that it's not currently a major focus for him.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said last week that the sport was in discussions with all teams about how to promote US drivers into the Grand Prix paddock now that a new event in Miami has received the go-ahead

The Haas team is the only official US-based squad on the F1 grid, but this year opted for rookie drivers from Germany and Russia to take over from Roman Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

IndyCar sensation Colton Herta is very much on the radar for F1 team managers. Last month the 21-year-old Andretti Autosport driver claimed his fourth win in the US open wheel series and admitted he would be interested in racing for Haas if it came with Ferrari backing.

Former F1 world champion Mario Andretti said America would go 'crazy' if an American driver made it into F1, while Lance Stroll picked out Herta was a leading contender.

“If I have to name a guy I say Colton Herta, I think he is someone who could do well here," the Aston Martin driver said.

For his part, Steiner insisted that his squad is still keen to find some home-grown American drivers in the future but said it wasn't a priority..

“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 told RACER magazine this week.


"For sure for the near future if something gets done that would be very good for Formula 1, and for Formula 1 in the US.”

“But I was not involved in anything too concrete," he added. “We are not trying to do that at the moment."

Steiner already has his hands full with one of his new drivers, with Nikita Mazepin proving adept at stirring controversies on and off the track.

But the team boss was this week still staunchly defending the 22-year-old Muscovite from attacks from critics after finishing last in the most recent race in Barcelona and receiving a penalty for impeding Lando Norris in qualifying.

Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team on the grid. 09.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix

"It was another tough day for him result-wise but what was good was he did the laps," Steiner pointed out. "He didn’t do anything to compromise that, and that will make him learn. At some stage he will come to be real.

“I don’t want to speak in terms of convincing them, time will tell and you need to give people time," he commented. "You’ve always got more naysayers than yaysayers.

"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.

"I am always a big believer in these things," he added. "You need to keep your head down, it’s not how you get down but how you get up. He just needs some time.”

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