Again reminding us that not everyone has consequences for their actions, the Haas Formula One team said it’s keeping Santino Ferrucci—the Santino Ferrucci penalized for holding a phone while driving a race car and wrecking a teammate on the same weekend—in its F1 development program.
That’s right. A person penalized and dropped from his Formula 2 team after holding a phone in his hand while driving a race car is still in the F1 development pipeline. Watch out, Lewis, looks like that one is texting!
Ferrucci has been with the Haas F1 team since 2016, and the team announced in March that he’d stay in it this year while also running Formula 2 races with a team called Trident Motorsport. The ugliness that seems to have been brewing in his relationship with that team peaked at Silverstone Circuit in the UK in July, when the series penalized him for the phone incident and for hitting his own teammate, Arjun Maini, on a cool-down lap. Series-issued penalties included a disqualification and a four-race ban from Formula 2, and Trident Motorsport announced about a week after it all happened that the team had dropped him.
Trident Motorsport tweeted a statement about Ferrucci’s Silverstone weekend that seemed to leave out some details about it, apologizing to Maini for the “unsportsmanlike and above all uncivilized behavior that he was forced to endure not only during this last weekend by Santino Ferrucci and [his] father.”
The team also claimed in another statement that it had problems with Ferrucci not paying to race:
Since the beginning of the championship, the Driver justified its payments’ default with alleged failure by his sponsors to fulfil their obligations. It seems weird that, despite such kind of issues, Santino Ferrucci had the resources needed to enter the Detroit INDY race from June 1st to 3rd while, at the same time, he was not honouring his agreement with Trident Motorsport.
Trident gave mandate to its lawyers in order to activate all the procedures needed to fully recover its credits towards the driver.
Ferrucci tweeted an apology later, saying he used “extremely poor judgement” and hit Maini accidentally. He said there was no premeditation, “only anger and frustration as this has been a horrific year,” and that there was no excuse for his “mental lapse” other than “the fact that [he’s] a twenty-year-old Italian American with a deep passion for motorsport, which is a very emotional sport.”
As it all unfolded in mid July, Haas F1 told Jalopnik via a statement from team principal Guenther Steiner that the team wanted to gather “all of the facts” around the situation before making a decision on Ferrucci’s place in its development program. On Thursday, Autosport reported that Steiner said the team’s keeping him around for now. From the story:
Speaking ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said: “I think we keep him for the time being on the programme.
“We will see what he is going to do in IndyCar and stay with that one.
“The guy is trying to make a career and in the end we don’t want to pull the rug under his feet.”
Ferrucci also got a pass on his behavior from IndyCar team Dale Coyne Racing, which is what Steiner mentioned above. The team announced that he’ll be in one of its cars for the last two races of the season, with team owner Dale Coyne saying the team was “very impressed with Santino” when he ran the Detroit Grand Prix earlier this year—“not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car.”
Speaking of outside of the race car, maybe that’s where he’ll leave his phone and his misplaced anger from now on.