Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team won’t announce any drivers for 2021 until Gene Haas commits to staying in F1.
The American outfit joined Formula 1 ahead of the 2016 season and ever since debuting have enjoyed a close working relationship with Ferrari.
In 2018 they secured their highest finish to date in the Constructors’ Championship with P5.
But since then Haas have been on the decline. 2019 was a difficult year for the team as they failed to get on top of the VF-19’s terrible race pace, whilst they have scored only one point so far in 2020.
A $145m-per-season budget cap is coming from next year, though Haas have said already that it plays no part in their future, instead Gene Haas is more interested in the details of the new commercial agreement.
The possibility that these so called “B-team” relationships may also break up under the new rules from 2022 could also be of concern for Haas.
So with all of that in mind, Steiner has said there will be no announcements regarding Haas’ drivers for 2021 until the team know that Gene Haas is committed to Formula 1.
“Timing-wise at the moment the thing to do is to tidy up the Concorde Agreement in the near future, and then speak about drivers,” he is quoted by Autosport when asked whether he would be comfortable with retaining Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for 2021.
“Comfortable or not, as I’ve said before, we haven’t even looked or started to talk about drivers.
“I didn’t speak to Gene about that. At the moment we’ve got a lot of other things to do first, and then we can speak about drivers.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) August 9, 2020
Steiner admitted that the whole team is disappointed with the results in 2020 so far, as is Gene Haas.
And Steiner doesn’t know what Gene Haas is thinking right now.
“I don’t know his state of mind right now,” Steiner admitted.
“I mean the results, we’re not happy, but he knows that we’re having a tough year, and it will continue tough.
“So I think he’s somewhere in between. These questions are always difficult to answer for your boss and for the team owner, in which state he is, but I think he’s alright.
“Obviously, he’s not happy with the results, but the rest is alright. I think we’re on a good point, and hopefully we’ll be signing the Concorde Agreement in the next weeks.”