Guenther Steiner makes Haas admission as Fernando Alonso sparks Mercedes intrigue – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso, 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. F1 news

Fernando Alonso has been linked to multiple seats at the end of 2024.

Friday’s F1 news is a mixture of news and views from around the paddock, with plenty to take in from the day’s events, even without a race weekend to look forward to this time.

Included in this is the second part of our extended interview with Mika Hakkinen, among the key headlines from the day – so let’s dive in.

F1 news round-up – 15 March 2024

Guenther Steiner admits ‘I stayed at Haas for too long’

Having not had his contract renewed by Haas ahead of the 2024 season, Guenther Steiner has taken time to reflect and came to the conclusion that he perhaps stayed at the team a bit too long – though he would be open for a return to the sport in future, but only for the right opportunity.

“These last few weeks are the first time I’ve switched off from F1 for around a decade,” Steiner wrote in a column for Formula1.com.

“This time has been good for me. The longer time goes on, the more I can see that I stayed at Haas too long.

“When you step away, you get clarity – and you can see what you need to do. While you’re there, you’re in denial, you think you can do it but you cannot.

Read more: Guenther Steiner admits ‘I stayed at Haas for too long’ after abrupt departure

Fernando being Fernando, or a little hint at Mercedes?

Now, we all know Fernando Alonso as a master of manipulating any narrative he wants to, but when he posted on social media from the same Monaco café where his manager, Flavio Briatore recently met Toto Wolff, that naturally set tongues wagging.

He’s not contracted beyond the end of the year and there’s every chance he was there for his own leisure, but with him, there’s always the possibility, however slight, he’s looking to highlight something else.

Read more: Fernando Alonso sparks fresh Mercedes speculation with cryptic post

Exclusive: More from Mika Hakkinen on the twists and turns of 1999

After we introduced the story of the 1999 season with Mika Hakkinen, part two of the story takes you through the first half of the year with the man himself.

Telling stories from the title-winning year in detail as he opened up to PlanetF1.com about his journey to a second World Championship, the Flying Finn’s story is well worth a read from that year, even if we do say so ourselves.

Read more: The inside story of Mika Hakkinen’s dramatic 1999 title victory against Ferrari – part two

Eddie Jordan unimpressed with Daniel Ricciardo performances

Former F1 team principal Eddie Jordan did not have the warmest words for Daniel Ricciardo’s performances so far for RB this season, despite his lavish praise for him on a personal level.

The Honey Badger wants to force his way into the frame for a possible Red Bull return in 2025, but early evidence is that he is not quite ready just yet – though there is a long way to go in this season yet.

Speaking on the Formula For Success podcast, Jordan said: “I’m just worried that the end of McLaren era was really something that stood out and I couldn’t see where he’d lost it. There has been nothing since then that convinces me that I would want to invest my hard-earned sponsorship cash to keep Daniel.

“He needs a result more than anyone perhaps, and he needs to get it together. Because otherwise he is going to be replaced and he can understand why he would be replaced because the performance is just not there.

“I mean, he shouldn’t be spinning the car, he shouldn’t be getting himself out of sequence in a pit stop. You don’t see Max doing that, you don’t see other people doing that.

“So, Daniel as much as we absolutely adore him and I think he’s a huge asset for Formula 1, the stopwatch never lies and the stopwatch in terms of Daniel, the question marks are out there.

Read more: ‘Performance is just not there’ – Eddie Jordan’s damning verdict on Red Bull hopeful

Fred Vasseur shuts down Lewis Hamilton successor chat

Speaking to reporters after the successful F1 debut of Ollie Bearman, the prospect was raised to Fred Vasseur about how he might even be a potential successor to Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari one day.

But as the Scuderia team boss pointed out, that shouldn’t be a topic of conversation at all just yet.

“Don’t start to speak about after Lewis Hamilton, Lewis is still not in the team!” he said.

“But it’s a good signal for Ollie for sure, that was an important milestone. In Melbourne he will be back on the F2 project, and the most important challenge for Ollie will be this one.

“He will start soon the FP1 sessions with Haas, and this will be important also for us to give him experience and mileage in the car. But for sure with this one [Jeddah] he has the result in the pocket already.”

Read more: ‘Don’t speak about after Lewis Hamilton!’ – Ferrari Oliver Bearman succession idea shut down