Speaking in a press conference at the team’s headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina on Tuesday, Haas said the Frenchman, who will join from Lotus next season, is exactly the kind of driver he was looking for when he started his F1 project.
“We’ve always maintained we wanted an experienced driver to lead our team in 2016," he explained. "F1 is tricky business. You have to learn - and the best way is to learn from other people.
“We were looking for an experienced driver and Romain was one of several candidates. He’s been in F1 for several years and been an excellent driver for Lotus. He’s scored points almost every season, and that’s our primary goal - to score points.
"He's a piece of the puzzle, he's going to be our lead driver and we will depend heavily on him to help us with strategies, with our car, with race tracks - and just learning the whole operation. We’re going to rely on him.”
Haas also reiterated that whilst there was pressure to hire an American driver, it was never a priority for the team.
“A rookie driver with a rookie team isn’t a good fit,” he said. “Our primary concern is showing that an American manufactuer can compete in the most difficult, competitive car racing series in the world - that’s F1. We had to do whatever it takes.
"Our goal is to race competitive teams and whatever it takes to get the car on the grid with the right people is what we’re looking for. Romain fits the bill perfectly.
“We’re a little surprised to have got a driver with the experience he brings to our team because it’s going to be a real challenge - and he’s going to be working a lot harder than he thinks he is going to be!”