Logan Sargeant, Williams, 2022

US drivers like Sargeant need F1 experience before joining Haas – Steiner

2023 F1 season

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Haas team principal Gunther Steiner has expressed interest in having Logan Sargeant as one of his drivers once the American rookie builds up his Formula 1 experience – and gains more support at home.

Sargeant is graduating from Formula 2 with Williams this year and is due to become the United States’ first full-time F1 driver since 2006. Haas’ rivals AlphaTauri also tried to bring a rookie American driver, Colton Herta, into F1 this year, but he was unable to acquire an FIA superlicence.

Haas joined F1 in 2016 and are the only American team in the series. However their only experience of fielding an American-born driver came in 2020 when their American-Brazilian reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi was called up to contest the last two grands prix. He raced under the Brazilian flag.

Steiner was asked by Texan television station KVUE what it would take for Haas to run an American driver in the future.

Guenther Steiner. Haas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022
Steiner wants experienced F1 drivers rather than rookies
“Absolutely we would like to see it, but I think the answer is not a simple ‘what would it take?’. I mean, what would it take is a consequence,” he explained. “So I think what we need to see is to make a development of an American driver, which is very difficult.”

Aside from Fittipaldi, the only other rookies to appear for Haas were Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in 2020. The latter was dropped before last season began as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while Schumacher’s contract was not renewed following his second season.

“We had the last two years ago with two rookies, last year with one [inexperienced driver]. And we as a team are still very young. We are still the newest team in F1. And for us at the moment there is more performance to be gained for the team to make it better, to get ready, because at the moment there is no American driver with experience in F1.

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“Therefore, we decided not to take an American again. So what does it take? It would take an American driver which has experience, and that is not there at the moment.”

Logan Sargeant, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2022
Biography: Logan Sargeant
Assuming he participates in every round on the 2023 F1 calendar, Sargeant will have started 23 grands prix and six sprint races by the end of the year.

Steiner says Sargeant’s signing “is a very good thing to see” but added he would “like to see a little bit more support” from America for the rookie.

“There is an American coming to F1 and there is not a lot of things around that. I missed that a little bit because everyone says ‘we want an American driver, we want to make a driver’. Okay, Haas hasn’t got an American driver but I still support Sargeant what he’s doing because he puts the feet in very cold water here. But there’s not a lot [of noise] behind it.

“So there is, I would say, no American driver with experience in F1. And there is one which is going to make it, and he needs all the support he can get at the moment. And I don’t think at the moment it’s there.

“So hopefully it comes, because I wish that he makes experience and then once he has made experience, he comes to us, the American team. How about that?”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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8 comments on “US drivers like Sargeant need F1 experience before joining Haas – Steiner”

  1. To summarise – “prove you’re decent, attract some wealthy sponsors, and then maybe you can drive for us a couple of years from now.”

    1. Indeed. Off course by then, the question the driver will ask would be: Why would I go to your team Mr. Steiner, when there are better teams interested in me.

      1. Yep. Unless nobody better wants him, in which case he’d be better off heading back home to Indycar.
        F1 is a dead end unless you have a direct path to a top team.

  2. oh stop this childish bs. we all know that as long as you have sponsors willing and able to outbid others, and the social/political connections to get meetings and maneuver deals, you can be anyone and get a drive in F1.

  3. Guenther pretending Haas isn’t a backmarker team.

    At least the other teams that share the back third of the grid have won a race some time in their history.

  4. God I miss Giancarlo Minardi’s humility!

  5. Good for a laugh.

  6. Congratulations to Logan Sargeant! Looking forward to seeing him in Miami!

Comments are closed.