Pietro Fittipaldi, Guenther Steiner, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Haas could turn to Ferrari if it needs reserve driver – Steiner

2019 F1 season

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Haas could turn to engine supplier Ferrari for help finding a reserve driver if it needs one during the 2019 F1 season.

Team principal Guenther Steiner told RaceFans the team is “aware of the problem” of not having an F1-ready reserve driver in case Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen have to miss a race this year.

Test driver Pietro Fittipaldi does not have the necessary 40 FIA superlicence points to take part in an F1 race. Should Haas need a reserve driver, Steiner said Haas’s first port of call would be its power unit and transmission supplier.

“I think Ferrari will take somebody to the racetrack,” he said, pointing out ex-F1 drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Brendon Hartley are on Ferrari’s simulator driver roster.

“I think Ferrari for sure is getting a third driver. But there is always somebody around.”

Grosjean and Magnussen picked up penalty points more frequently than most drivers during 2018. Grosjean reached a peak of 10 – the most of any all year and just two points away from a one-race ban.

Fittipaldi won the Formula V8 3.5 championship in 2017 but his 2018 season was disrupted when he broke his leg in a crash at the World Endurance Championship round at Spa. As he will prioritise his simulator role for Haas this year, the 22-year-old will have limited opportunity to score more superlicence points.

“He needs points,” Steiner admitted. “That’s the difficulty for guys like him, to get the points.”

Steiner added Haas is “speaking with the FIA how we could achieve that.”

Fittipaldi is one of few test drivers to have already sampled his team’s 2019 car, in order for him to help advance the team’s simulator programme.

“We have Pietro full-time there,” said Steiner. “And therefore he needs to drive so he can correlate the simulator with the car.

“So he’s not only a guest driver in testing, he’s actually doing a job and he’s doing a good job. We saw that last week when he had to jump into the car out of the blue. And he was ready for it, did a good job. I’m very, very happy with him.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Haas could turn to Ferrari if it needs reserve driver – Steiner”

  1. Hmmm. At least ask Brendon/Pascal to drive a Haas once in practice session first, just in case.

  2. Now I’m interested to see how much penalty points every driver has ahead of the first race.

  3. What’s that about MAG picking up penalty points more frequently than other drivers? Isn’t that incorrect? I can hardly remember the last time and I seem to remember that he’s down to just a couple..

    1. You are right that Magnussen only accrued 2 points in 2018 and is now on only 2 points, so saying that he was amongst the most penalised in 2018 is incorrect.

      However, Magnussen has had a few seasons where he has been one of the more heavily penalised drivers – he had the joint second highest penalty points total in 2017 after picking up six penalty points. In the two seasons before that, he had been averaging four penalty points a season – not the worst out there, but putting him towards the top half to top third of the grid.

      2018 was Magnussen’s lowest points total, but his past form has generally seen him picking up penalty points on a more frequent basis – so the criticism is not entirely unmerited, just that 2018 seems to be an exception from his usual standards.

      1. Thank you for the number crushing! I believe/trust/hope that the 2018 numbers is the “new normal”.. The better the car the less likely that desperate moves are necessary to try..

  4. First the hardware and software supplied by Ferrari, now the wetware too. What’s next, have Ferrari service the cars at pitstops too?

  5. I think Mick Schumacher should be in a Haas! It will be fantastic to see this very promising driver on the grid against all the experienced drivers like Hamilton Vettel and Riccardo!

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