Haas F1 Team signs 19-yr-old Indian racer as development driver

Barcelona [Spain], May 11 : Haas F1 Team has signed Indian racer Arjun Maini as a development driver alongside 18-year-old American Santino Ferrucci.

19-year-old Maini is competing in the GP3 Series for Jenzer Motorsport after running 14 of the 18 GP3 Series races in 2016.

Despite missing the first four races, Maini finished 10th in the championship standings with a best finish of second, earned July 23 at the Hungaroring in Budapest.

"It's an honor to be a part of Haas F1 Team's driver development program," Maini said. "All of my racing to date has been with the focus of becoming a Formula One driver, and this opportunity puts me one step closer to my goal.

I am eager to learn, understand and experience how a Formula One team operates. Everything I learn can be used immediately in GP3 while preparing for my ultimate goal of Formula One." Like Ferrucci, Maini will be embedded with Haas F1 Team at every opportunity, attending races and tests throughout the year while also participating in the team's simulator program.

Haas F1 Team made its debut in 2016, becoming the first American Formula One team in 30 years. Now in its second season, Haas F1 Team is looking to build upon its impressive first year, where it finished eighth in the constructors standings with 29 points.

"As Haas F1 Team continues to mature, we must look toward our future and develop potential talent," said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team.

"Arjun was successful in karting and has transitioned well to various Formula series and now GP3. We'll keep a keen eye on his progress this year," he added. The GP3 Series runs in conjunction with Formula One May 12-14 at Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya, July 7-9 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, July 14-16 at Silverstone Circuit in England, July 28-30 at the Hungaroring, Aug.

25-27 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Sept. 1-3 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy and Nov. 24-26 at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The only non-companion race weekend is the penultimate round Oct. 6-8 at Circuito de Jerez in Spain. Maini earned his first title in 2007 when he won the Rotax Mini Max National Championship. Numerous wins and podiums followed before Maini began the transition to open-wheel machines. He won the 2013 Formula BMW Super Six Series in Asia and finished second overall in the 2014 BRDC Formula 4 championship with four wins, 10 podiums, five poles and six fastest laps.

In 2015, Maini competed in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand and finished fourth in the standings with two wins, five podiums, three poles and two fastest laps - a performance that led him to GP3 in 2016.

Source: ANI