Guenther Steiner has offered an update on speculation linking Daniel Ricciardo with Haas for a seat in 2024, but when asked if there was a conversation happening over a future drive with the team, the team boss replied: “Not at the moment.”
Ricciardo is currently on the Formula 1 sidelines as Red Bull’s reserve driver after being released from his McLaren contract a year early, with the eight-time grand prix winner taking a season-long break to reset himself and work alongside Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at his former team.
He has made no secret of his desire to return to the grid in the future, though, albeit with the stipulation that he would not want to come back to the sport as an also-ran – he wants to fight for race victories again if he does come back to Formula 1.
Ricciardo was known to have been a candidate for a seat at Haas for 2023 before he opted to take a year on the sidelines, and speculation surrounding him taking a seat at the team for next year is unlikely to go away as ‘silly season’ takes effect over the summer in Formula 1.
Haas team principal Steiner revealed that he and Ricciardo shared a flight over to the Australian Grand Prix last time out, but he insisted talks over his future were not a topic of conversation on the plane, and he is unsure of what the 33-year-old’s plans are beyond this season with Red Bull.
“No, not at the moment,” Steiner told Sky Sports News when asked if a deal for Ricciardo at Haas is on the cards.
“I think Dan is with Red Bull, [but] I don’t know for how long. I actually was with Daniel on the plane to Australia, so we had a little bit of a chat – but not about the contract, just about general life and what is going on, but we didn’t even go there, to be honest.
“So, I don’t know, Daniel wanted to take a year out and then see what he wants to do next, and I think when he is ready, he will phone people up and say: ‘I’m ready again’.”
Would Haas be a viable option for Daniel Ricciardo in 2024?
Ricciardo has made his intentions clear of wanting to fight at a top team again in future, but whether or not he goes there would hinge on how much the team is able to progress and how much he would be willing to risk in fighting in the midfield again, if he was to be offered a seat.
He may find himself in a situation where Haas may be the most competitive drive available to him for 2024, and if he wants to show the rest of the grid what he is capable of and put the struggles he faced at McLaren behind him, the best way to do that is to be on the grid again – though he will understandably not want to risk his reputation further if Haas slip further down the pecking order.
It’s still early in the season for driver moves to be decided, so Ricciardo – and other prospective 2024 drivers – are likely to want to wait and see how the driver market unfolds over summer before they try and make the best move for themselves for the future.