Santino Ferrucci set to move out of Haas F1 after IndyCar deal for 2019
Santino Ferrucci is more or less out of the Haas F1 Team role following his IndyCar deal with Dale Coyne Racing as per Guenther Steiner.
Haas signed Pietro Fittipaldi in a reserve role for the 2019 F1 season where the Brazilian will not only get to drive the new car in selected tests but also undertake simulator sessions to help the team during race weekends and overall development.
Fittipaldi already made his Haas debut in the post-2018 Pirelli tyre test at Yas Marina Circuit. Before Fittipaldi until now, Haas had Ferrucci and India's Arjun Maini in their development programme for the last two years.
Unlike the American, Maini did not get to drive the Haas car so far but took part in couple of simulator sessions. While the decision on Ferrucci seems certain of an exit because of his IndyCar route, the call on Maini will be taken later in December.
In addition to the three drivers, Louis Deletraz was also given a test run in the recently concluded tyre test in Abu Dhabi. The call on the Swiss driver - who is mentored by Haas driver Romain Grosjean - is yet to be taken as well as per Steiner.
"We haven’t made the decision yet [on anyone apart from Fittipaldi]," said Steiner to FormulaRapida.net. "I think Santino will move [out] because he races now in the United States and I think his future is there.
"For this project, why would he like to be involved? He is doing his own thing now. [As for Arjun], I spoke with his father and we decided that we will speak [later] in December because he hasn’t decided what is going to do and then we see where we go from here.
"[And with Deletraz] we will see how is he going to do in the test and then we will see also with his father and management team if we can work together." The call to remove Ferrucci gained momentum mid-2018 after his issues with Maini and Trident.
The American was left off from the team and he left the FIA Formula 2 Championship in favour of IndyCar where he raced with Dale Coyne Racing in selected races. With F1 option looking bleak, he opted for a deal with the team for a full season in 2019.
At the same time, Maini continued racing in F2 with Trident but the season did not go as per the plans. He did not take part in the post-season test but made his Super Formula debut in the rookie test this week with Team LeMans.
The Indian is yet to make a decision on his future but a season in Japan could be on card - whether he continues on still with Haas remains a question mark. As for Deletraz, he is set for another year in F2 but could change teams after testing with Carlin in Abu Dhabi.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]