Former F1 team boss Giancarlo Minardi says Ferrari must make more of an effort to promote its junior drivers following Haas' assertion that it plans to retain both of its current drivers for the 2018 F1 season.

Haas is enjoying a successful sophomore campaign in F1 having already amassed as many points during the first half of the 2017 season as it did during its inaugural 2016 season, leading team owner Gene Haas to state it is likely to keep Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for 2018.

However, this comes at the potential expense of Ferrari's junior development drivers Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc, both of whom have ties to Haas as its test and reserve drivers and have impressed in the junior categories.

With Haas set to be the only Ferrari customer team in 2018 as Sauber switches to Honda power, it leaves Ferrari with scant options of where to potentially place both drivers.

It is a situation Minardi - whose eponymous team competed in F1 between 1985 and 2005 - regards as a 'defeat for the system' whereby talented drivers brought under the wing of a team are not receiving any potential assurances of F1 promotion.

"If this [re-signing Grosjean and Magnussen] is the case it would be a defeat for Ferrari," Minardi wrote on his personal website. "I am still confident that it is a decision made only to keep peace within a team that is doing very well, whose sole objective is gaining just as many points in the second half of the season

"If it is otherwise it would be a defeat for the whole Ferrari system that is directed at young drivers and Italian motor sport," he continued in reference to Giovinazzi, who - after finishing runner-up in GP2 in 2016 - became the first Italian to start an F1 race since 2011 earlier this season with Sauber in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein.

"Sad, disheartened and disappointed. With the materialisation of this scenario it would be obvious the Ferrari drivers do not enjoy any protection. Ferrari would have no more decision-making powers in regards to its clients. I refuse to consider such a scenario."

Haas hasn't formally confirmed it will retain its drivers for 2018, though Magnussen did sign with the American team on a two-year contract and is such set to remain regardless. Grosjean has been linked with Ferrari if a vacancy become available.

 

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