Perhaps it’s the thought of trying to find an American driver that could possibly join Haas F! for the 2016 Formula 1 season or maybe it is speculation based on some rumblings in the paddock but now you can add another name to the rumored list of 10 potential drivers Haas F1 is looking at (purportedly). Marco Andretti.
The last Andretti to venture into the wild and woolly world of F1 was his father, Michael, and that didn’t end too well if I’m honest…and slightly polite. I’m not one of those Americans who feels that Haas F1 absolutely needs an American driver to be relevant. It would be nice but I would rather see the team successful and then create a young driver program in the US with some merit and efficacy. Something akin to the Red Bull program and its incredible success.
In order to get there, the team needs to be viable, competitive and well supported. That means all levels of the team need to be the best it can be and playing wet-nurse to an American driver just so they can say they have an American driver does little for anyone. Better to have the best drivers you can afford for now, score points, get your sea legs in F1 and then create a real ladder system for young American drivers to progress through.
Drivers such as Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne, Felipe Nasr, and many others who have a super license and can easily bring experience and development skills with them. That’s a critical element to the equation when a team is trying to figure out where the paddock bathrooms and FIA badge-holder offices are let alone how to score points in a race.
I have nothing against Marco Andretti but I’m of the mindset that there are much better, more F1-experienced drivers available that would be a more strategic move in teh long term. Marco said:
“It [F1] depends on a lot of the logistics, for sure,” said the 28-year-old. “Formula 1 is still the cream of the crop to me.
“Having said that, it would be tough to leave [IndyCar] because I feel like I’m just coming into my own as a driver.
“I think it took a little too long, but I feel I’m in a good place. I feel like we can compete anywhere we roll off. That’s a good feeling.
“Formula 1 would be like starting over. The expectations wouldn’t be high, maybe, with that [Haas F1] team.
“If you can go beat your team-mate over there, that’s what people look at.
“Yeah, I would definitely take a strong look at it.”
I bet he would. If he did, let’s hope he can reprise his grandfather’s success in F1 and not his fathers misfire.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT