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Haas interested in American racer

Thursday 12-June-2014 11:46

Although Gene Haas is keen to put an American driver in his American team, he concedes his first priority is not to "embarrass" the sport.

Haas will enter the Formula 1 World Championship in 2016 have pushed back his entry by a year and one of the big questions already is who will race his cars.

There has been talk of at least one American racer being handed a place on the grid with Haas revealing that he - or she - would only be chosen if he genuinely believed they could succeed in Formula 1.

"Seat number one is going to obviously be taken by an existing F1 driver that has experience with the current engine package and chassis," he told Autosport. "And then position two is open.

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

"But 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 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."

Asked whether Danica Patrick, who is currently contesting the NASCAR series for the Stewart-Haas team, is a candidate, Haas 'half-joking' said: "We're looking for an American woman driver!"

As for his decision to delay his team's debut, the NASCAR team boss says it is because he understands how difficult it is to make an impact on F1 and wants the right people in place for the job.

"That's why we've delayed it by a year because we think we can better spend the time putting together a team of people than just throwing people at it," he said.

"That's what happens when you get time constraints. Once you hire the wrong people it can sometimes take longer to get rid of them than to hire a competent person if you take the time to hire that person, so that's where we're at now.

"We're going to take our time over the next three to six months making sure the people we hire have the ability to do what we want to get done."

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