Haas shortlist ‘down to five’

Gene Haas will choose between "five" drivers when deciding his first F1 line-up with Esteban Gutierrez likely to be one of the two.

Haas F1 will enter the sport next season and the team will be powered by Ferrari as part of a technical partnership with the Scuderia.

There has been a lot of interest surrounding the team's possible line-up with several drivers including Nico Hulkenberg, Alexander Rossi and Gutierrez all linked to the team.

However, for now Haas is saying very little about which way he is leaning.

"We're down to five now, I think," the American told Motorsport.com.

But asked specifically about Gutierrez, a Ferrari test driver, the team owner admitted that the Mexican driver's association with the Italian outfit could benefit him.

"He's a Ferrari reserve driver, so Ferrari would be interested in seeing how he does and it kind of helps both parties.

"We get a driver who Ferrari thinks has a lot of potential and we can see how he does too."

As for when the candidates can expect a decision, Haas said he is willing to wait and see how the driver market plays out.

"In the next four weeks or so, this month is when the real thought-proving, intense decision-making occurs.

"But we're also actually waiting for the current F1 teams to make their decisions before we will. You never know who'll become available.

"It seems like the bigger teams are putting in younger and younger drivers, so some of the more experienced drivers might become available."

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