“We’re in the process of looking at several candidates, we’ll see who is available and what we have to deal with, but we’ll have somebody by Wednesday,” Haas told the Associated Press at the Las Vegas NASCAR round yesterday. “Pietro will definitely be in it, that’s what he’s for, he’s the test driver.
“I think we’re looking. I think we’d obviously like to get someone with a bit more actual experience. We just have to see what’s available.”
Partly on that basis, it is thought former Alfa Romeo driver and current Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Giovinazzi is a front-runner for the seat, along with Aston Martin reserve Nico Hülkenberg and Fittipaldi.
The former will be present at a number of races this year as reserve driver for Ferrari, with Haas using Scuderia engines and also having a close technical relationship with the Italian team.
Haas also elaborated on the reasons behind dropping Mazepin and his Uralkali sponsorship, emphasising that the team is still in decent financial health.
“There was a lot of intense criticism about the Ukrainian invasion and it was just getting overwhelming. We can’t deal with all that, our other sponsors can’t deal with all that,” he said.
“Haas has always been the major, primary sponsor, I don’t know why people said it became a Russian team. Haas Automation was always on the car. We’re fine. We’d like more money, of course, but we’re fine. This just gives us a bigger negative number.”