Guenther Steiner will not leave Haas’ second seat open while Daniel Ricciardo weighs up his options, the team boss saying he is “not waiting” on the Australian.
After months of speculation and despite a statement in which he insisted he was not going anywhere, Ricciardo and McLaren announced in late August they had “mutually agreed” to terminate his contract one year early.
The timing of the announcement meant Ricciardo’s options for next season were limited, that number now down to just three – Williams, Alpine and Haas.
He has yet to decide what he wants to do, the Australian also open to a reserve driver role.
“My team are talking with, I want to say, pretty much everyone, or they are having conversations, so we are just trying to put it all together and figure out what makes the most sense,” Ricciardo said in his latest update in Singapore.
But he made it clear: “I don’t want to just race to race, I want to race with a true belief or understanding that I could be back on the podium ultimately.”
Being back on the podium, based on recent results, takes two of those three remaining race seats off his list – Williams and Haas.
Haas, though, are still open to having the conversation if the Aussie so wants.
But for now, Steiner says, he has no idea what Ricciardo actually wants from next season.
“I don’t want to speak for Daniel,” he said as per Sky Sports. “I think he’s weighing up what he wants to do.
“That’s my biggest thing, he needs to weigh up what he wants to do. If he decides to join a team at the back of the grid, that doesn’t mean he cannot move on up the grid and I’m sure he didn’t mean what he said in a negative way.
“He needs to find out what he wants to do in life, and that will take him time because this is a big decision for his career and I’m sure he takes it very carefully what he wants to do.”
But while Ricciardo is deciding, Steiner too is weighing up his options for 2023 with Ricciardo just one name on the list of candidates to partner Kevin Magnussen.
“I’m not waiting for him to answer what he wants to do, just to clarify that,” said Steiner.
“Once he decides what he wants to do, he will let everybody know, but I don’t know and I think he doesn’t know at the moment.”
Steiner recently stated Mick Schumacher has a “50-50” chance of retaining his seat while another German, Nico Hulkenberg, is also in the running.