Nikita Mazepin thinks it could be helpful for Haas to have an experienced reserve driver at their disposal next season.
In Mazepin and fellow rookie Mick Schumacher, the American-owned team comfortably have the least experienced pairing on the grid and will again next year.
Given that and the fact more work for drivers than ever will be needed in 2022 to help teams understand their cars due to the new regulations, team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed Haas are considering signing a reserve driver.
“You’re fully right there, we have no reference, the reference is missing. And that’s an experienced driver,” the Italian said, quoted by Autosport.
“So I don’t know exactly how we will do it, there’s more than one way to do these things. We talked a little bit about it but didn’t really do anything.
“But I want to see how they [Schumacher and Mazepin] get on. And you can see a lot from data how much they improved and stuff like this. You can get a lot of information.
“When we get there, we’ll find a solution also for that if we need to, and I’m not sure we need to.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) October 1, 2021
One thing the team principal expressed concern about though was that having a reserve driver compete in practice sessions would take track time away from Mazepin and Schumacher who, being inexperienced themselves, may well need it.
Even so, the Russian would be open to that and thinks having an older driver in reserve could help the team next year and beyond.
Indeed, if it were up to him, he would welcome the extra help, but says it should not be his say.
“I’ve never been asked that question and I don’t think the drivers get to choose it, I don’t think that’s correct,” he said.
“But if I was to be asked, I think more help in the position we are at now is good help.
“I’m open to any solution but Guenther is the team boss and he needs to take these decisions, not me – I’m too young for it.”