American drivers from other series hit out at Gunther Steiner after he said Haas does not have a US-born driver because there are none that are ready for F1.
“Complete BS,” Indycar driver Graham Rahal said.
So as Haas revealed the first images of its Halo-adorned 2018 car on Wednesday, team owner Gene Haas said he understands why Steiner’s comments caused a stir.
“Things kind of took off in a bunch of different directions as people made a bunch of assumptions,” he said.
“The fact is that we’re still learning here in formula one, and bringing on a driver who needs to learn about formula one probably isn’t the best thing for us or them,” said Haas.
Haas is entering its third F1 season with an unchanged lineup from last year — namely Frenchman Romain Grosjean alongside Dane Kevin Magnussen.
“Sure, there are competent American drivers who can compete in formula one,” the American businessman admitted.
“But we’re not ready for that yet, and with the limited amount of testing teams have, getting anyone up to speed who hasn’t already been a part of a development programme would be hard.
“I think that’s the point Gunther was trying to make,” Haas added.