With the F1 in Miami for this weekend's Grand Prix, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has spoken out about the difficulties of having an American driver on the grid.
It's obvious that Formula 1 has been trying to push into the American market, and thanks to things like Netflix's Drive to Survive and the increase in American F1 events, it's working incredibly well so far. This year we're seeing the first-ever F1 race in Miami, and next year we'll be adding Las Vegas to the calendar, too.
So, F1 has the races covered. But it hasn't seen an American driver on the grid since 2015 when Alexander Rossi joined the 20-driver lineup for - well - a very short amount of time. Now it's rumoured that the next American to be joining the F1 family will be Colton Herta, a current IndyCar driver who is reportedly eying up Alfa Romeo and McLaren, but Haas chief Guenther Steiner believes there could be issues with this.
Haas is F1's only US-owned team, so it's no surprise that fans are wondering whether they'll bring on an American to drive for them at some point in the future. Steiner is very interested in such a proposition but believes there would be a couple of road blocks:
“I think an American driver for F1 would be fantastic, obviously for us it would be the ultimate thing,” Steiner told Crash.Net. “But there are two difficulties with this. First is, if as a team you don’t give an American driver what he thinks he deserves or he expects, it’s not good for us and why would we do it then.
“But there are two difficulties with this. First is, if as a team you don’t give an American driver what he thinks he deserves or he expects, it’s not good for us and why would we do it then.
“And secondly, if the driver isn’t good enough, it’s not good for the American market as well. It needs to be at least a success story. I think there was a time where American drivers didn’t put a lot of effort to get into F1 because it’s very difficult.
“America is a fantastic place to live and to do F1 seriously you need to move to Europe for a period of time when you are a young man. When you are a good race car driver there are a lot of opportunities in the US which are pretty good.
“I think now with this increased interest in F1, hopefully there is a build up again. It will take time, but hopefully someone comes one day and is a star here.”