Guenther Steiner ‘done with rookies’ as Haas driver search goes on

Henry Valantine
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2022.

While the Haas driver search continues, Guenther Steiner has ruled out the possibility of a rookie partnering Kevin Magnussen next season.

The Haas team principal turned back to the experience of the Dane after running two rookies in a turbulent 2021 season, with Mick Schumacher comfortably out-performing Nikita Mazepin through the year.

But Steiner had multiple headaches throughout the year, guiding the pair through their first season in the sport, while navigating Mazepin’s complaints of his belief that he had a “heavier” chassis than his team-mate.

After Mazepin was sacked ahead of the season, Magnussen slotted straight back into the team he had left at the end of 2020 and picked up where he left off, bringing years of Formula 1 knowledge with him.

Haas are now one of only three teams to have a ‘free’ seat next season, along with Alpine and Williams, and team boss Steiner has reiterated that they will not be rushed into choosing a new partner for Magnussen, or keeping Schumacher for another year.

Speaking in Singapore at the weekend, Steiner told F1’s official website about his driver dilemma: “Still thinking, you know, we want to take our time to make sure that next year at no stage we think ‘we did this too quick’ – because we don’t need to be in a hurry now.

“There is not a lot out there anymore on open seats and drivers. There’s not a lot of options, so we just want to make sure that we take the right decision and have no regrets next year.”

Given the significant differences he had while managing two rookie drivers in the least competitive time Haas have had in the sport, he added that if he were to choose a new driver, they would have to have previous paddock experience.

“I would say I’m done in the moment with rookies for the foreseeable future,” Steiner stated.

“But I mean, we need to see what is best for the team or who’s the best person or who is the best driver to bring the team forward.”

Daniel Ricciardo is thought to be one of the drivers under consideration for a Haas drive, but Steiner said recently the team would not wait on him to make a decision himself regarding his future, and the team will instead work to their own timetable.

Read more: Could Mick Schumacher be handed a F1 2023 lifeline by Williams?