Haas on 2021 line-up: Talent always needs to be there

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the US outfit could include a driver with significant funding in its 2021 line-up, but talent is also a prerequisite.

Haas announced on Thursday that Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will both be leaving Haas at the end of the current season, leading to an overhaul of its driver line-up for next season.

Steiner insisted the US outfit is in no hurry to select its future drivers but the Italian admitted that his shortlist was “down to a lot less people now”.

Russian F2 racer Nikita Mazepin is rumored to be close to sealing a deal with Haas, thanks to the lavish funding of his father, Belarus-born Russian businessman Dmitry Mazepin.

    Read also: Grosjean and Magnussen confirm departures from Haas

But Scuderia juniors Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman are also in the frame for a seat with the Ferrari-powered outfit.

While financial backing could get any driver over the line, Steiner said the team required talent first and foremost.

“I mean talent always needs to be there, not only money, talent is more important, but some people have got sponsorship they bring with them so we are looking at all the options out there as well,” said Steiner.

“We have got quite a few things we can choose from. There are quite a few opportunities out there and they aren’t going away

“The market is pretty small this year, I think we have lucked into that one this year, which is why we are not in a hurry to make the announcement.”

Steiner said Haas had made its call on Magnussen and Grosjean several weeks ago, and chose to inform both drivers of its decision to allow them time to devise alternative plans for their career.

“We wanted to be fair to them,” Steiner said. “We could have kept that for us for a while and then just do it but I think the guys were good with us for the last years, so we said we’re going to do some changes and therefore we wanted to tell them so they have the chance to find something else.

“If we tell them only whenever we decide who is going to drive the car, maybe end of the year, they would have a less chance to find something to drive next year.

“It is very difficult as you all know, as much as we have ups and downs in our relationship,” he added.

“In the end you don’t stay with people this amount of time, 4-5 years, if you don’t like them. So it’s always difficult to do these things,” admitted Steiner.

“I need to look after the team in general and they both are very understanding, for sure they are not happy – who would be – but they had a good understanding and they know that we gave them a good run at that as well, so it wasn’t only good for us it was good for them as well.

“There is no bad blood running between us and we want to get to the end of the season hopefully scoring a few more points as well.

“As much as it is difficult I need to look at the team and that is why I have to make these decisions, it’s part of my job, even if it is difficult things to do.”

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