Haas could handle a rookie, says Steiner

Michelle Foster
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magussen's Haas future up in the air

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magussen's Haas future up in the air

A year after saying no to putting a rookie in the Haas, Guenther Steiner feels the team has progressed enough to make it an option.

This season Haas is once again fielding an unchanged line up in Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

The latter, though, always seems to be one rumour away from losing his race seat.

Should Grosjean, who recently earned his team boss’ ire when he questioned Haas’ future in Formula 1, be dropped at the end of this season, Haas could use the opportunity to race one of Ferrari’s youngsters.

The team is affiliated with Ferrari, who in 2018 put Charles Leclerc in the Alfa Romeo before giving that seat to Antonio Giovinazzi when Leclerc earned his Ferrari promotion.

Asked whether he’d be open to putting a rookie in the car next season, team boss Steiner says he believes Haas could “handle” it.

“Yeah I would say so, we could handle a rookie,” the Austrian told GPToday. “That is not an issue.

“When they come to F3 and F2, they are always very prepared anyway.”

He added: “We can see how good [Charles] Leclerc was in his first year.

“Of course, you always have to look at what the others are doing and how well prepared they are.

“We certainly weren’t ready in our first year for a rookie because we had to grow as a team. But now we could handle everything.”

Ferrari has several drivers racing in this year’s Formula 2 championship, most notably Mick Schumacher and Robert Schwartzman.

The latter caught the eye when he finished on the podium on his debut at the Red Bull Ring before adding victories in round two and another in round three at the Hungaroring.

Schwartzman is leading the F2 championship with 81 points, 18 ahead of Calum Illot.

Steiner is impressed with the Russian driver’s performances but says at the moment he’s not looking for a new driver.

“He’s doing pretty well. He’s won two races in total. I think he’s doing very well, and he won the [F3] championship last year,” he said.

“But I am currently not recruiting anyone.”

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