Guenther Steiner dropped an F-bomb over Daniel Ricciardo’s Haas salary demand

Sam Cooper
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner with a quirky look. Miami May 2022

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner with a quirky look. Miami May 2022

Video has revealed Guenther Steiner baulked at the figure that Daniel Ricciardo was asking for to join Haas.

After his McLaren exit was confirmed, Ricciardo was left trying to find a seat for 2023 but with one door closing after another, it soon looked like his hope of staying with a top team was no longer possible.

What that meant was a step down in terms of the calibre of team on offer and there was one standout team that was in need of a driver.

Haas, who were still contemplating whether to retain the services of Mick Schumacher, were exploring other options and it seems that Ricciardo was near the top of their list.

As revealed in an episode of the upcoming series of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, team principal Steiner was sat discussing the matter with Kevin Magnussen when attentions turned to the Australian.

Magnussen expressed excitement at having the former McLaren man as a team-mate but Steiner soon poured cold water on the idea.

“We can’t afford him, Kevin,” the American Italian said. “He wants 10 f***ing million. Minimum!”

Considering Magnussen is reportedly on $5 million (£4 million) a year, it would have represented a radical change in terms of Haas’ wage structure.

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Instead, conversation switched to a more realistic option when Magnussen suggested another name.

“What about the Hulk?”

In the end, a man Magnussen had once told to “suck my balls” joined Haas, coming in to replace Mick Schumacher.

Huge salary demands suggest Daniel RIcciardo was never interested in Haas seat

To some, the fact that Ricciardo had even offered a desired salary may suggest he was at least somewhat open to the idea of racing for Haas but the opposite is just as true.

Ricciardo was reportedly on $17 million (£14 million) during his McLaren days and even that figure was nowhere near the $42 million (£35 million) per season he was getting paid at Renault.

But the fact that Ricciardo wanted a contract in the same region as his McLaren one at Haas suggests he never had any intention to join the team.

The Australian has made it somewhat clear he wants to be back on the grid in 2024, so it looks a lot better for him if he is able to say that Haas were not able to meet his contract demands rather than him being the one to say no.

It is clear once seats like Alpine’s got taken up, Ricciardo had his heart set on a year out to refresh and these contract revelations only support that.