Newman Haas co-owner Carl Haas has confirmed that Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira - currently first and second in the Champ Car World Series standings - will remain with the team next season.

Speaking to Gordon Kirby for his regular column on the official Champ Car World Series website, Haas also admitted that there is a possibility that the team could run a third car next season for Cristiano da Matta.

da Matta, the 2002 Champ Car champion, endured a difficult time in Formula One, after making the move to Toyota at the start of last season, and was replaced by test driver Ricardo Zonta before the Hungarian Grand Prix back in August.

"We'll run the same two drivers, Sebastien and Bruno, that's the plan right now," he said. "I have contracts with both of them and they're obviously happy with that.

"I guess there have been some rumours about Cristiano. I've spoken to his agent. In fact, I had a phone call last week with Cristiano. I've got the highest regard for him and I don't think what happened in Formula One had anything to do with his talent as a race car driver. I feel bad for him that that occurred."

However Haas admitted that any deal to run a third car, no matter who it was for, would be dependent on the team collecting extra sponsorship.

"I think da Matta wants to continue to race but I don't think he has anything put together yet and I don't have anything put together yet for a third car," he said, "but we're exploring it. We definitely would have to find some additional sponsorship because it's hard to cover everything as it is for two cars.

"It would be great if we could put it together, but I sure can't commit to it today."

 

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