Guenther Steiner is open for all possibilities with regards to Haas F1 line-up as Sergio Perez says he has had no contact with any teams.
Throughout 2020, there has been an air of uncertainty surrounding the Haas F1 team, whose performances have led some to believe that the team is nearing the end of its four-year long involvement in Formula One.
And, yet poorer performances thus far this season further bolstered this theory that the team owner – Gene Haas – planned to pull the plug on the expensive program. But then, things changed drastically upon the signing of the Concorde Agreement – an action in which Haas participated, and one that demonstrated a commitment to the sport.
For you see, while Haas will forever have the option to sell, the signing of the Concorde Agreement ensures that it is in their plans to continue with F1, at least for the immediate future of five seasons from 2021 until 2025, as Steiner indicated of the new financial changes the reason to sign.
This is a fact that gives one of the team’s drivers, Magnussen, great satisfaction. “I think it’s great news and I think there’s a lot of people in the team who were waiting for that news and feel very happy to see the team continue,” said the Dane to media including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, BBC and more.
“It’s a great bunch of people, and I’m personally really happy for that news as well. I think I’ve had four or five great years with Haas, and obviously I’m hoping to carry on.” On the other hand, Grosjean echoed his teammate’s comments, “I think it’s great for F1, for motorsport, for all the guys at Haas and just shows, the last team who came to Formula 1, and obviously it’s great to see it’s going to be here for another five years,” he said.
“I’m very happy for everyone in the team, they deserve it. It’s all the hard work that has been put in place. Hopefully that gives us a boost for the races to go.” Now, one would think that the focus for the drivers is aimed at securing their respective seats within the team, albeit Grosjean countered this point, arguing instead that the busyness of the 2020 calendar gives little time for such negotiations.
“I think there aren’t that many seats available on the grid,” said Grosjean. “It’s great news that Haas stays in F1. Obviously gives a bit more opportunities, and I guess the talks are going to happen at some stage. Right now to be 100% honest with the triple headers and the pandemic that we’re going through, we’re just focused on racing and trying to get the best we can.”
Magnussen, meanwhile, believed that discussions about his future and that of his teammate will begin soon, now that the team’s future is certain. “It’s been a busy time lately with all the triple headers, and there’s another one now,” he said. “There hasn’t been any good reason to start talking drivers when the team’s future has been the main point to sort out. I expect there will start to be some talks from now on at some point, but we’ll see about that.”
It were quite diplomatic answers from the two F1 drivers who would be hoping that the team retains them, something which Haas team principal Steiner said that he has yet to consult his boss for the driver selection, and as such will not be conducting discussions with any driver as of now. He adds that there is a wide range of possibilities for the team, which could mean having an all-new line-up.
“We are looking at everything,” said Steiner. “I think there is more than one answer here. We are looking at all the drivers and we haven’t made the decision. I’m not trying to be evasive. We just got the Concorde done and I did not speak with Gene about drivers yet and as you all know, I want his input on the drivers, so that will come soon, as soon as he can make it to a race we will sit down and discuss it.
“But in the moment, everything is on the table from keeping the drivers we have got to getting two rookies. So if you want the seat you can apply for it. Everything is possible in the moment. These are all questions that I need to speak with Gene. To stay in a team you know you need to perform at a superior level and that always it’s like in any other job if you do a very good job, you always got job security, almost always you know.
“So there is no reason to change them. That is what they need to do and with this I’m not saying that they’re not doing a good job but. But for the rest it’s, as I said before, everything is on the table. We haven’t made a decision, one way or another. So I don’t want to get into this one that Haas will keep it drivers, maybe we keep them or maybe we don’t.
“We haven’t discussed it and we you just have to be a little bit patient to get an answer,” summed up Steiner. The Italian threw open a whole lot of speculation by keeping all of his options open. And one driver tied to a seat with Haas is Perez of Racing Point, whose seat is threatened by Sebastian Vettel.
Perez, though, said that he feels a departure from the team for him – forced or otherwise – is unlikely. “I’ve said before in Spain, I feel that we, both parties, we want to carry on and we believe in each other and we believe in the project,” he said. “Nothing really more to say. I think it’s good for you to have something to speak about! I think it is, as I’ve said before, a matter of time. I said in Spain, I felt really happy in the team.
“I believe in the project, I’ve been here for a while, and I can see how the team is going upwards. We all feel internally that everything is working well. We don’t see the reason why we should change anything. I don’t see any reason to change. I think we are enjoying a great season on-track, and things are working really well in the team. I don’t expect any change. The feedback that I get from within the team is that we all want to continue.
“I think there are some discussions in the background [with regards to Vettel and other things], and as I’ve said before, it’s just a matter of time. All the feedback that I get, it’s really positive, so I stay with that, and that’s where my confidence comes from, and where we stay calm. It’s a situation that is out of my hands, so I don’t even bother at all.
“I focus on racing, enjoy it, and whatever happens, it’s out of my hands, so I don’t even give attention to it,” summed up Perez, who also added that he is not in talks with any other F1 teams despite reports linking him with Haas and or Alfa Romeo Racing.
Here’s Guenther Steiner on Haas signing Concorde Agreement
Here’s Sergio Perez during Spanish GP
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