OCTOBER 25, 2015
Haas to confirm Gutierrez on Friday
The long wait for Haas to complete its first F1 driver lineup looks set to end next week.
It is now an open secret that the new American outfit, headed by Californian machine tool magnate and Nascar team co-owner Gene Haas, has signed up Ferrari reserve and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez to join Romain Grosjean at the wheel in 2016.
"We're going to make an announcement in Mexico City on Friday night," Haas, in Austin for the badly storm-affected US grand prix, told British television Sky.
Many in the Austin paddock, however, were wondering if F1 can even move on to Mexico for the second instalment of the North American double-header.
Worsening storms at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday forced the postponement of qualifying until race-day, raising questions that if the weather is this bad in the US, what will it be like in Mexico, where the hurricane has actually struck.
But the New York Times reports that Mexican cities have in fact been spared major damage by what was earlier described as the worst ever storm system in modern history.
Early reports from Mexico's Pacific coast suggests there have been no deaths so far, with fishing villages hit hardest by the hurricane that was downgraded to tropical storm-strength once it entered the mountains in the most recent hours.
"As far as I know, we are going to Mexico (City) and everything is ok (there)," a source close to one of the F1 teams said in Austin late on Saturday.
Indeed, early weather forecasts suggest that even the chance of rain for the weekend of the Mexican grand prix is moderate to low.