Who might drive for Haas F1?

The American team has been established by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owner Gene Haas and has strong links to Ferrari, with the Italian manufacturer set to supply Haas F1 with their power unit.

Having delayed their arrival in F1 to 2016 after being penciled in for the current season, Haas are now dealing with the finer details of the project – like who their drivers will be.

The team's American roots and Ferrari ties make their driver selection all the more interesting. Here are some of the contenders…

Esteban Gutierrez

Just in case

The 23-year-old is currently Ferrari's reserve driver and boasts two years of experience racing with Sauber. The Mexican is thought to be in pole position for one of the seats, with team owner Gene Haas having recently revealed that he has met with Gutierrez who he described as “a good guy and talented”. Gutierrez also brings considerable financial clout from his Mexican backers. 

Nico Hulkenberg

Just in case

The German has been strongly linked with a move to Haas F1, but while Force India are not setting the world alight, a switch to the newcomers would mark a step down for Hulkenberg at a key juncture in his career. The 27-year-old is considered by many as one of the best drivers on the grid not at a leading team, and while this makes him an appealing prospect for Haas, it may make Hulkenberg hold out for a different move.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Just in case

Like Gutierrez, Vergne may benefit from having close ties with Ferrari. The Frenchman, who turned out the recently completed inaugural season of Formula E, is currently on Ferrari's books as a test driver, but his work is largely confined to the factory simulator. Vergne challenged Daniel Ricciardo during their time together at Toro Rosso, and the Frenchman outshone Daniil Kyvat last season before being left without a drive.

Alexander Rossi

Just in case

It makes a certain amount of commercial sense for an American team to have an American driver – there would be greater reason for buy-in from US fans if they had a local driver to support. If Haas are to go this route, Rossi seems the likely option as he is the only American driver who currently holds a super licence. However, while the 23-year-old has acted as a test driver for both Caterham and Marussia in the past, he has no F1 racing experience.

Jenson Button

Just in case

It would seem unlikely that Button would want to commit to a new project that would be so heavy on development at this stage of his career. However, the uncertainty surrounding his future at McLaren continues to grow and he certainly possesses the experience that Haas are looking for.

Pastor Maldonado 

Just in case

With Maldonado comes a lot of financial clout, but the Venezuelan's failure to impress at first Williams and then Lotus raises questions at to whether those finances would come at too high a cost.

Sergio Perez

Just in case

While Perez appears to have found his level at Force India, his Mexican backers, Telmex, may view Haas as a more enticing tie-up. Whether money talks enough remains to be seen. 

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