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Ayao Komatsu

Haas provide update on 2025 driver announcement timeline

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has given a timeline on when confirming of its 2025 drivers can be expected.

Komatsu Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has provided an indication as to when the American team will confirm its 2025 driver line up.

With F1 'silly season' in full flow and the driver market more volatile than in previous years, movements between teams are akin to a merry-go-round.

Having seen an unchanged grid between the end of 2023 and the start of this season, the market for 2025 has been surprisingly dynamic, with Lewis Hamilton announcing his move to Ferrari before 2024 even got underway.

Haas is losing Nico Hulkenberg to Stake F1 at the end of the season, with the German driver leaving to be part of the Audi project. Prior to that, it was expected the 36-year-old would partner F2 driver Oliver Bearman at the American outfit next season.

The young Briton impressed the entire paddock when he deputised for Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, taking hope six points having had just one free practice session to prepare. 

He is also taking part in six FP1 sessions for Haas this year, as well as carrying out reserve driver duties. Therefore, confirmation of his graduation to F1 is expected imminently - something Komatsu stated, without revealing who his driver line up might comprise of.

"Yeah, not too far, not immediate, but not too far," he told media including RacingNews365 when asked how close he was to confirming the team's plans for 2025. "So let's say, yeah, within a couple of weeks to months, shall I say."

Haas looking for youth and experience for 2025

Who will partner Bearman - a driver who is all-but-confirmed at this stage - is still a matter of debate up and down the paddock.

When Hulkenberg's departure was announced, it was assumed that would likely save Kevin Magnussen's immediate F1 future. However, that is increasingly looking incorrect.

Zhou Guanyu, who is expected to lose his seat at Stake, has been touted as being high up on Haas' shortlist. The Chinese driver comes with considerable financial backing and wide-ranging commercial opportunities - something that will no doubt be attractive to a team that has often operated on a shoe-string budget.

Esteban Ocon's impending exit from Alpine has also led to speculation Haas will be his next home in F1. The 27-year-old confirmed his future plans will be announced in due course - suggesting he will be competing in the championship next season.

Komatsu has further provided insight into his thinking and what his preferred approach to the line-up might be. The expectation is that the team will look to place experience alongside the youth of Bearman - a notion the 48-year-old made no attempt to dissuade the media of.

Whilst Zhou does have three seasons under his belt in F1, the experienced options are no doubt Ocon and Magnussen.

"Yes. Yeah. I mean, as a team, you know, we are growing up," he replied when asked if he wanted to blend youth and experience next season.

"We are improving the team. So a pretty dynamic situation, so I think the mixture of good youth and then experience to give us the reference would be a pretty exciting combination."

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