Schumacher, Mazepin have ‘equal status contracts’
Haas will not have a number one driver this season with Guenther Steiner revealing that is even set out in his drivers’ contracts.
Haas will continue with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin for the second successive season, one which both drivers are hoping will be vastly different to last season.
The 2021 campaign saw the team-mates spend more time than any other team at the very back of the grid, more often than not qualifying P19 and P20, beginning an intra-team battle not to line up last on the grid.
It was more of the same during races, neither scoring a single point with Schumacher’s P12 in Azerbaijan the team’s best result of the campaign.
This year, Haas having devoted all their efforts in 2021 to designing their 2022 car, the American team expect a very different season, one in which points could be a regular prize.
That itself poses a new challenge for his young line-up as Steiner will have to manage his drivers, and potentially – as most teams do – use team orders to secure the best result for Haas.
Given how Schumacher and Mazepin fought last season, that will not be an easy task for the Italian team boss.
He insists his drivers go into this season with equal status, revealing for the first time that their contracts actually stipulate that.
Primeras fotos de la nueva unidad de potencia Renault del @AlpineF1Team A522 que lleva el turbo dividido.
First pictures of the new Renault Power Unit on the Alpine #A522 with split turbo.#F12022
— Albert Fabrega (@AlbertFabrega) February 23, 2022
“Both drivers are equal in our team,” said Steiner.
“They have equal-status contracts, so there will be no leader.”
But in a situation where the team must choose one driver over the other, most likely when it comes to strategy, Steiner says the track will decide that.
“It’s about who is doing a better job in practice and qualifying,” he said.
“Then when you do that, in the race, when you start in front, you are automatically in a better position.
“But the starting point every weekend is the same. There will be no number one or number two driver.”
As for this year’s goal for Schumacher and Mazepin, Steiner says the “expectation is just to be able to fight for points, to fight with the other drivers in Formula 1”.
He added: “They have had one year, we always were very open that the expectations last year were not high but it gave them the opportunity to learn and establish them in Formula 1.
“Now it is the year we have to prove we are on the right track with the drivers.”
Haas have no interest in ‘number one driver’
Guenther Steiner says that Haas have no interest in having a number one driver.