Santino Ferrucci set to retain Haas F1 affiliation

Santino Ferrucci is to remain part of Haas’ young driver development programme, despite receiving a two-round ban from Formula 2.

Ferrucci joined Haas as its development driver upon the American team’s entry into Formula 1 two years ago, carrying out in-season running in both 2016 and 2017.

Ferrucci stepped up to Formula 2 mid-2017 and remained with the Trident team into 2018, but clashed with team-mate Arjun Maini, also part of Haas' development programme, at Silverstone.

Ferrucci received a heavy fine and a two-round suspension for deliberately hitting Maini on the cool-down lap of the Sprint Race, and also incurred a sanction for other indiscretions.

Trident swiftly sacked Ferrucci and announced that it would be undertaking legal action on account of alleged non-payments.

Ferrucci has since been signed by Dale Coyne Racing to contest two upcoming IndyCar events, having made his debut in June’s Detroit double-header for the team.

Haas said prior to the summer break that it was evaluating the situation and team boss Guenther Steiner commented on Thursday that the 20-year-old will retain his affiliation.

“I think we’ll keep him for the time being on the programme,” said Steiner.

“We’ll see what he’s going to do in IndyCar and stay with that one.

“The guy is trying to make a career, and we don’t want to pull the rug from under his feet.”

Steiner also explained that Haas hopes to resolve its 2019 driver line-up in the coming weeks, though refused to divulge details of its intentions.

“I think we should be weeks out, a few weeks,” said Steiner, whose team fields Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

“I hope we don’t have to drag this one on too long, because I want to get to the conclusion, and we all want to get to the conclusion.

“I think we owe that to the drivers and to the team as well.

“The team is always eager to know who is going to drive our car. We need a little bit more work, but we’re in a good way.”