Haas principal Guenther Steiner was keen to avoid “stupid” presents as the team said goodbye to Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.
After four seasons at Haas both Magnussen and Grosjean departed the team at the end of the 2020 season.
Sadly the burns which Grosjean suffered at the Bahrain Grand Prix meant he couldn’t take part in the final two races of the season, but he received his fond farewell from Haas in Sakhir before returning home for treatment.
Magnussen meanwhile signed off at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a P18 finish.
And Steiner was keen to give his now former drivers a parting gift they would remember in the form of steering wheels, something which he felt was more meaningful, rather than a “stupid present” which would end up in the “garage”.
“I wanted to give them a present which is not cheap because they get a lot of presents and they put them somewhere in the garage and leave them there and then in five years’ time, when they’re cleaning the garage, they throw them in the garbage, you know what normally happens with stupid presents,” said Steiner, as quoted by RaceFans.net.
“So I know that when you get a steering wheel, you respect that because they are very difficult to get.”
Interestingly, Magnussen had actually mentioned the possibility of having a steering wheel to Steiner before.
“It was just organised at the last minute and with Kevin, it was strange that, I think it was the first race in Bahrain, we just got chatting and he said ‘Guenther, I just would like one thing, you know’ and I said ‘what?’ ‘A steering wheel’,” he said.
“I knew that I had one, I knew that because he asked me before, he always wanted one.”
Magnussen has said that he likely won’t return to Formula 1 in the future as he now prepares to link up with the Chip Ganassi Racing team for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Grosjean is set to undergo surgery on his left hand, and so hasn’t yet announced any post-F1 plans.
The Frenchman has spoken of wanting a private test in a Formula 1 car to judge whether or not he is able to continue racing outside of the series.