Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes as much as a quarter of the grid might end up being replaced for the 2025 F1 season.
After the unprecedented situation of the entire 2023 F1 grid (as of the last race) remaining static for the 2024 season, with no replacements, retirements, or incoming rookies, next winter could be a very different story.
Some 12 drivers’ contracts come to an end at the conclusion of the 2024 season, meaning there’s plenty of potential for turmoil – and Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes the revolving door of drivers departing or being dropped could open the door for several new names for 2025.
Guenther Steiner: 2025 is a big opportunity for young drivers
The Haas team boss, who currently fields veteran drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen in his squad, said he expects several current drivers to not be on the grid once 2025 rolls around.
“I think there’s a lot of potential at the end of 2024, focusing on ’25, I think there’s a big opportunity for young drivers to come in,” Steiner told Craig Slater on a Sky F1 Christmas Lunch segment.
“Because some of them, the drivers who are there now or will be at the end of ’24, maybe stop doing it.
“Some of them will have not performed, nobody will pick them up. Some, I see a better opportunity in taking a risk with a young driver than keeping somebody who didn’t perform.”
Guenther Steiner points to Oscar Piastri example for impressive rookies
Steiner turned his back on inexperienced drivers after the 2022 season, after fielding Mick Schumacher in 2022 after his debut season in ’21 alongside Nikita Mazepin.
With the German driver’s promise tempered by multiple crashes and incidents, Steiner pointed to the example of the implacable and calm Oscar Piastri.
The Australian, making his debut with McLaren, put in a stellar rookie season to keep up with experienced teammate Lando Norris more often than not, particularly in qualifying, and even managed to win a race as he claimed the Sprint victory in Qatar.
Steiner said Piastri will be used as the blueprint now for teams to compare their rookie drivers against.
“Everybody was scared about rookies. [Piastri] came in and was good straight away,” he said.
“We now see these things and say ‘OK, it worked with Piastri – why would it not work with somebody else? You have some history there now.’
“So it could be that, in ’25 with no changes for ’24, all of a sudden we have got three, four, or five new guys… I think that could happen.”