The F1 team ‘Hass’ has announced their second driver for the 2016 F1 season. Esteban Gutiérrez will race alongside Romain Grosjean, who was announced as the first driver at the end of September at Haas' US base in Kannapolis, North Carolina. To gather maximum fan base for the team as well as the driver, the announcement of the Mexican driver seat was made at the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
Gutiérrez had been working as test and reserve driver for Sauber prior to this. He had also raced for Sauber for two years (2013 and 2014) previously, and as test and reserve driver for Ferrari.
The owner of the team, Gene Haas, was present at the event and said, "I got to know Esteban through our relationship with Ferrari, and after looking at the success he's had to earn his role there, it became clear he was an excellent choice for our race team. He's young and hungry, but not inexperienced. His two years running a full F1 schedule has given him some very good race experience, and having spent this season at Ferrari as their third driver allowed him to see firsthand the methodology that makes Ferrari such a power in Formula One. We're very happy to have Esteban as a part of our race team. Between him and Romain, we have a strong driver lineup that will help us develop our car and, ultimately, score some points in our inaugural season."
Gutiérrez said, "This is an excellent opportunity that builds on my time with Ferrari and I will make the most of it. Gene Haas believes in me and I believe in how he's going about competing in Formula One. To have a race seat in a competitive car with Ferrari power is very special, and I appreciate the faith he has in me. I trust we'll be able to achieve great things together."
Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team added "All along we said we were looking for experienced drivers, and we have that with Romain and Esteban. Romain has more starts, but Esteban has a deep knowledge of Ferrari and how they do things. He's learned from the best in his role as their third driver, which means he knows how they've developed their current cars. He's been a big part of that and he'll be a big part in the development of our cars at Haas F1 Team."
If the Haas F1 Team races in the 2016 F1, it would be the first America-led Formula One team to do so in 30 years. With the latest announcements, it seems that the grid for 2016 teams is almost ready with Manor being the only exception.