Haas set deadline for Grosjean, Hulkenberg decision
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner hopes the team will finally decide on the 2020 partner for Kevin Magnussen within the next few weeks, with Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg in contention for the seat next year.
Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, Renault announced that they would not be renewing Hulkenberg’s contract, with Esteban Ocon coming in as his replacement for the start of next season.
Haas, meanwhile, have had a torrid campaign so far, having not only to put up with abject results, but also several on-track collisions between team-mates Magnussen and Grosjean, with the latter’s future beyond 2019 yet to be confirmed.
Steiner says that, if a driver of Hulkenberg’s calibre became available, Haas would be remiss not to assess the potential options for their seat.
“Sometimes you have to look at the dynamic of the team, not just the speed of a driver,” he said.
“If people like Nico Hulkenberg are on the market, we need to look at it.”
“We haven’t made a decision, but this is a thing you need to do as a team – to look around and see how to bring the team forward.
“We need to see where to make improvements and if good people are on the market, you see if you can better the team and better the performance of the team. That applies to every area of the team, not just the drivers.”
Whatever the eventual outcome may be, Steiner is hoping for an announcement sooner rather than later as both drivers need time to prepare for next year, whether it be as a Haas driver or elsewhere.
“I hope, honestly, in two to three weeks – because it’s good for everybody; it’s good for the team; it’s good for the drivers,” he said of the decision.
“It Romain stays, it’s good for him to know so he doesn’t have to worry. If Nico comes, it’s also good to give people a chance to make other decisions or to look around, so our aim is to decide in the next weeks.”
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