Haas boss Guenther Steiner insists the US outfit’s progress won’t be hindered by having Ferrari hopeful Antonio Giovinazzi in the car on Friday mornings.
The young Italian and Scuderia reserve driver will drive in seven FP1 sessions this year, alternatively replacing Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
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As Haas is locked in a tight mid-field battle this season, depriving its main drivers of track time was perceived as a potential disadvantage for the team, but Steiner believes the scheme will have a “net zero” cost for the team.
“If we play it clever, I would say it is not an advantage,” Steiner told Motorsport.com.
“I would not pretend that it is an advantage to us, but if we play it clever then we can get a net zero – if we get him in the tune that he does testing, that is the aim.
“We are not having Giovinazzi running around just so he looks good. We are actually giving him work to do. He is driving the Ferrari quite a few times, he has done some races, and he can come into it.
“It will not be a plus, but we need to get out a net zero that he does the testing for one of our drivers.”
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Steiner says Haas is always keen to run young hopefuls, and putting Giovinazzi in the car is logical given the specific ties between Ferrari and the US outfit.
“We always need to see the next generation,” he said.
“We need to give the young guys an opportunity, otherwise we can end up without talent because at the moment to get into F1 is so difficult.
“You can only do testing two days a year in the rookie test, or otherwise with a three-year old car. It is a very odd thing.
“The teams need to be wanting to help some young talent, otherwise we end up with no drivers any more. The youngsters need to have a perspective of their future.
“You win or finish second in GP2, and what do you do? Look at [Pierre] Gasly – he had to go to Japan to race because there was nothing for him here. They need to be able to show their talent.”
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