We aren’t even a third of the way through the 2015 Formula 1 season, but the driver market is already showing signs of a big shake-up in anticipation of the 2016 season. The linchpin in these negotiations is likely to be the U.S.-based Haas F1 team, which is set to add two new seats to the grid starting next year, pending the return of all current teams.

“I think the seriousness of the interest is picking up quite a bit,” Gene Hass told USA Today in a recent interview. “Right now there’s a lot of churning in the garage there in Formula 1. Some people are doing really well and everybody else is doing really bad. (Laughs) Some of the teams they thought would do good really missed it.”

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Ferrari reserve driver Esteban Guitierrez of Mexico and American GP2 driver Alexander Rossi have both been linked to the Haas F1 Team, but Haas’s recent comments suggest that drivers on this year’s grid disappointed with their current teams performance could also be in contention. Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez of Force India and Romain Grosjean of Lotus all come to mind.

“I think drivers are very cognizant of the fact that if they choose the wrong venue, they can screw their careers,” Haas continued. “Because when there’s technological issues they haven’t overcome, they’re wasting a whole year. And they don’t like to do that.”

Haas has expressed a desired to see an American driver fill at least one of the seats, but says it’s not a prerequisite. That said, Conor Daly, who finished third in the 2013 GP3 championship and has shown promise in both GP2 and IndyCar could be another American option.

Why it matters

With the help of a good driver lineup, Haas F1 could be competing with mid-tier teams straight out of the gate. Under new regulations for privateer teams, Haas F1 will use parts supplied by its technical partner at Ferrari, including power unit, gearbox, suspension, electronics and pretty much every other component barring the chassis and aerodynamics, which are currently being sculpted by Haas engineers at Ferrari’s wind tunnel in Maranello.

Source: USA Today

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