Haas F1 team signs Arjun Maini as development driver

"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," Maini said.

Arjun Maini will be with Haas F1 Team at every opportunity, attending races and tests throughout the year while also participating in the team’s simulator program.   -  Special Arrangement

India's Arjun Maini has been signed by Haas F1 Team as a development driver. The 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, at the Hungaroring in Budapest. “It’s an honor to be a part of Haas F1 Team’s driver development program,” Maini said.

Watch: A profile of Arjun Maini done by Mobil 1 The Grid

“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.”

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.”

Maini earned his first title in 2007 when he won the Rotax Mini Max National Championship. 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.

Karun Chandhok, who has been Arjun Maini's mentor, helped broker the deal with Haas F1 team.

 

The youngster has taken the right steps on the F1 ladder and has been mentored by former F1 driver Karun Chandhok.

"I've been managing Arjun along with his father for the past few years. Since the back end of last year we were working on a link with an F1 team and it took a few months for his dad and I to work with Guenther Steiner and the team at Haas F1 to get here. It's a good first step into the F1 world and Arjun will learn a lot. How we convert this to a race seat in F1 will largely be down to his season in GP3 which starts this weekend, " Chandhok said.

"Still, I feel very proud to be one of India's only 2 F1 drivers thus far, and I hope to help him expand that club in the future."

Maini's role with Haas will involve mainly simulator work at Ferrari's simulator in Maranello alongside with his GP3 commitments and future test options will be evaluated during the course of the season.

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