Gene Haas says Danica Patrick would be his “dream driver” to be paired with a more experienced team-mate when his team enters F1.
Haas is set to enter F1 in 2016 after conceding that next season does not allow him to prepare the team fully, with talks ongoing about using Ferrari powertrains and getting Dallara to supply parts. Speaking to the official Formula One website, Haas said he had already been considering drivers and had an ideal candidate in mind.
“Danica Patrick in one of our cars would be the dream driver…” Haas said.
“The question was about the dream driver! But she surely fits the bill. She is a woman in a man's sport - that would attract a lot of attention. She weighs about 50 kilos - which these day sounds fantastic - so indeed she's got a lot of attributes that would be good to have.”
And when Haas was asked if he could look to put a female driver in one of the seats, he replied: “Definitely.
“But realistically the first driver is going to be a current F1 driver who knows the ins and outs of the sport, to help us sort out what we have to do and who can give a lot of feedback. In that mould would be driver number one. Driver number two would be American.”
Acknowledging how tough it will be to run a team from the US, Haas says it is still his aim but conceded it makes sense to have some form of factory also located in Europe.
“I think in this age of communication so much can be done on the Internet. Our base will always be Kannapolis, North Carolina. We plan to run a small shop in Europe where the cars come in and are refurbished and worked on, but the main facilities for building and design will be Kannapolis.”