Gene Haas says his team might look to share Ferraris reserve driver this year during its inaugural season in F1.
The US team, which has its European-base in the UK in Banbury, enjoys a close technical relationship with the Scuderia, and while Haas has denied his squad will be a Ferrari 'B' team, such tie-ups will only reinforce that perception.
“We don't have a reserve driver at the moment. If we can find a common reserve driver with Ferrari or someone that would probably be the best way to do that,” Haas said in an interview with Sports Business Daily
“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.”
Meanwhile, Haas added that he expects former Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and ex-Sauber driver and Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez to complement each other.
“Esteban has been a Ferrari test driver, so he's up to speed with simulators and Ferrari equipment. He has driven some of the Ferrari cars, so he's going to be a little bit further ahead [in that respect]. Romain [however,] as a current Formula 1 driver is going to be more familiar with the tracks, requirements and tyre strategies. We have none of that knowledge now. Most teams will develop a book as they go from race to race, year after year and you look at those notes. We don't have a notebook, so we have to develop all of that. I think that's where Romain will have an advantage, and then Gutierrez will have the advantage on the equipment side since he's going to be more familiar with it. Those two guys together will be able to complement each other and give us a better package,” he explained.
Haas though is under no illusions about how difficult 2016 will be, and is sure they will make a “ton of mistakes”, while improving as the season progresses.
“It will be a building experience [this season],” he continued. “We are going to this party without really knowing what it's like. We can sit there and watch what other people do but there's nothing like being there. That's going to be the experience.
“I think we are prepared, I think we will do well at it but you have to really be there to learn it. All the reading you can do and talking to other people, the challenge is being able to do it. I'm sure we will make tons of mistakes, correct those mistakes and be better prepared for each race. After we are done with those 21 races [this] year, we will have a whole year behind us and our notebook will be full of what we need to know.
“And we will do better after that.”