Who should sign Haas for 2023?

As Haas looks to move up the F1 standings, who should sign for the second seat alongside Kevin Magnussen? LWOS is considering options.

Reports suggest that Mick Schumacher will not return to Haas in his 2023 campaign. The US-based company has opted to let its contract with the German company expire. not only tHis development currently leaves Kevin Magnussen without a teammate for next season, but it also leaves 23-year-old Schumacher’s life plans up in the air. Where will the Earth be on the F1 grid for 2023? So, if he leaves, what do Haas look for in their second driver?

Haas . history lesson

Eugene Francis Haas, 69, is the founder, president, and sole owner of Haas Automation Incorporated. The company designs and manufactures cost-effective machines with a specialization in numerically controlled computer equipment. Today, Haas Automation operates as the largest tool manufacturer in the United States.

In 2002, the entrepreneur, who is originally from Youngstown, Ohio, entered the world of motorsports. Upon purchasing the Concord, North Carolina facility that Hendrick Motorsports used for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams, HAAS CNC Racing was born. Despite technical support from Hendrick Motorsports, the team only managed to finish an average of 31.5 in six seasons.

He entered Tony Stewart as driver and co-owner in 2009, changing Haas overnight. Since 2009, Stewart-Haas Racing has expanded to four full-time teams and continues to set the standard for Ford franchises across the motorsport scene. In the twelve years since Stewart signed, the franchise has won two NASCAR Cup Series championships and 91 victories across various NASCAR Series.

Haas enters F1

It was during the start of Kevin Harvick’s 2014 NASCAR Cup Series victory campaign that Haas announced his entry into Formula One. With its home base in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Haas made its F1 debut at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean finished sixth, followed by the team’s top five players the following weekend Bahrain Grand Prix.

Over the course of seven seasons, five drivers raced behind the wheel of a Haas Ferrari. Despite frequent shifts in the team’s success rate over those 10 seasons, Haas has established himself as a respected name throughout the motorsport world. Even with their flaws, they have shown the world that they are perfectly capable of being a mid-tier team in Formula One, despite the financial gap of the top teams.

Haas current reserve driver pool

Before we dive into the roundtable picks, let’s take a look at Haas’ current reserve drivers.

Pietro Fittipaldi (No. 51)

At the age of 26, the grandson of former World Drivers’ Champion Emerson Fittipaldi (1972 and 1974) has competed around the world across different racing disciplines. His beginnings in karting paved the way for the early success of capturing three different championships in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, MRF Challenge Formula 2000 and World Series Formula V8 3.5 for 2011, 2015-16 and 2017.

He was invited to join the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2014. After competing part-time with Dale Coyne Racing in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Fittipaldi was promoted to Haas’ F1 test driver in 2019. While considering competing full-time in Haas’ 2022 campaign The team eventually chose the experienced veteran and re-signed Kevin Magnussen.

Antonio Giovinazzi (No. 99)

He started karting at the age of seven where he captured Il Trofeo Nazionale Italiano 60cc and the Euro Trophy 60 by the time he was 13. In the KF2 class of the WSK Master Series, Giovinazzi won the 2010 and 2011 championships.

Over the next five seasons, Giovinazzi racked up 18 victories in 12 different competitions before making his F1 debut with Sauber in 2017. After three lackluster campaigns for Alfa Romeo where it never ranked higher than 17, Giovinazzi was not kept. In 2022, he raced in Formula E and became the second test driver for Haas.

Who should sign Haas for 2023?

Would it be more cost-effective for the franchise to raise a test driver to replace outgoing Schumacher? We’ve assembled a panel of writers from the team here at Last Word on Sports to give their opinion on who would be the best choice to fill the anticipated open seat at Haas.

Jack Oliver Smith

If Mick Schumacher isn’t driving with Haas next year, the most logical option for them, and for Ferrari, would certainly be Antonio Giovinazzi. After difficult years with Alfa Romeo, Giovinazzi was unable to retain his racing seat this year. Instead, he participated in the Formula E Championship while fulfilling his role as Ferrari’s reserve driver. Giovinazzi seems to be held in high esteem at Maranello, and Scuderia has praised his work in the simulation.

Due to the contract with Ferrari, Giovinazzi will likely be paid by them, rather than Haas, which will ease the financial pressure with their modest budget. Also, a racing seat is sure to keep Giovinazzi happy, as many have hailed him for improving throughout the 2021 season which will surely boost him to show everyone his value as a Formula 1 driver.

Gabe Perrin

While some bigger names from Formula One’s past have been brought up, such as Nico Hulkenberg, among others, I think the most likely choice for Haas in 2023 is Antonio Giovinazzi. At just 28 years old and with 62 Formula 1 races under his belt, the Italian driver is one of the most experienced drivers to compete for this seat. Even though he had a rough 2022 in Formula E, he collected 21 points during his F1 career. Giovinazzi has demonstrated his skills with many good qualifying and racing results over the years. In addition, he has a strong relationship with Ferrari, and it is definitely a partnership that Haas would like to maintain for years to come.

Evan Kress

Robert Schwartzman is the top choice for the open seat at Haas for the 2023 season. He is currently at the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) and has been working for a few years now. He is set to drive in a training season at the Grand Prix later in the season for Ferrari. With Ferrari the power unit supplier to Hass F1, it makes sense for Haas to continue withdrawing from the FDA for future drivers. Current Haas driver, Mick Schumacher is also part of the FDA but Reports indicate that he will be leaving this program.

This opens up the seat, and the Haas has traditionally been in the middle to the low end of the grille. Therefore, a young unproven driver with a lot of potential would be quite suitable for them. Currently, Schwartzman is a test driver for the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, which means he has spent the season training and learning with the most historic team in F1. In addition, he finished second in Formula 2 last season behind Oscar Piastre. Just waiting for his chance to compete in F1.

Thomas Hughes

After an embarrassing campaign for Haas in 2021, the team saw moderate success with the new VF-22. Currently seventh in the World Constructor Championship, if that momentum continues to head into the off-season, along with another veteran driver, preparing for the VF-23 could elevate Haas into a capable medium competition. Enter Daniel Ricciardo.

While the majority of teams typically look to the fountain of youth on veteran experience in similar scenarios, at age 33, Honey badger He could still be considered a semi-young man, with the advantage of a veteran.

Ricciardo averaged 7.9 championship places during his time in F1. The potential team dynamic between Haas, Riccardo, Magnussen and team manager Guenther Steiner could provide a formula for success to help elevate the team further. It will be seen as a victory for both parties. With a love of racing stemming from a childhood interest in both NASCAR and HollywoodMaybe that’s what the Australian needs to reignite his career. It is an opportunity well worth the adventure.

Nathan Reynolds

  • picking Schumacher or a new path

The official F1 website appears to think Nico Hulkenberg is the favorite. This would be a desperate and short-sighted move. Hulkenberg has spent his time in F1 and there is no reason to believe he will return to the series and be significantly better than before. Ricardo looks like a MMORPG/Fan’s Choice. And while thinking about the American/marketing side of the business, it makes sense. I’m not sure how much they will help in the long run. Daniel struggled to acclimatise to the new cars in the first year. If Haas and Ferrari can keep Mick Schumacher it is the best option. Young, talented, financed by Ferrari (if this relationship is maintained), he could commit to the team for two more seasons.

Antonio Giovinazzi? He already had plenty of time and Haas needed to look ahead to the driver pay budget benefits. So while Schumacher will be optional, he may be off the table. If so, instead of going with Ricciardo, Hulkenberg or Giovinazzi, Haas should choose the youngsters. Evan’s choice of Schwartzman is the case. He is talented and knows the Ferrari program. Or they can chat with Sauber and pick up Theo Pourchaire for a season. If Williams can’t put Logan Sargent, maybe Haas can, and there’s your American connection. And the Nyck de Vries is unlikely to fall into the hands of Haas, but if the driver market goes like that, it would be a better choice. Advance not backward.

For Gene Haas, with the right mix of driver, car and team leadership in place, the 2023 campaign will likely mark the beginning of a new era of elevating his franchise. With time running out but so many options on the table, who will pick the team?

Featured image credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images