Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Monza, 2019

Magnussen not a factor in Haas’s decision to take Grosjean over Hulkenberg

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says he did not pass up the chance to sign Nico Hulkenberg because he was concerned about pairing him with Kevin Magnussen.

Hulkenberg and Magnussen have had a fractious relationship following several incidents between the pair of them on-track.

Haas announced today Romain Grosjean will remain as Magnussen’s team mate next year. Steiner insists he “didn’t consider” whether Hulkenberg and Magnussen would prove a difficult pairing to manage, but confirmed Hulkenberg was under consideration for the seat.

“It was a close call because they’re both very good drivers,” he said. “I hope Nico stays in F1 because I like him and he’s a good driver.

“But in the end we decided to stay with Romain. He was with the team [for] four years. We know his highs and his lows. We know on a good day he’s a very good driver and he knows the team very well.”

Steiner said the decision was swung by the problems the team has encountered with its VF-19 chassis this year.

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“The biggest thing is our car this year is not performing as we wanted [it] to perform which in the end has nothing to do with the drivers we’ve got in the car in the moment. It is the car, we are very conscious about that, very open about that and now changing drivers, I don’t know if it would help us to make the car better.

“It could [help] but it could also not because the new guy wouldn’t know where we start off it.”

Grosjean urged the team to reintroduce an older specification of its chassis mid-way through the season. “Romain was a big part of it in getting the understanding of why we were wrong with the car in the moment,” Steiner confirmed.

“He was a big help and we didn’t want to have any more unknowns,” he added. “So therefore we took the decision to stay with Romain another year.”

Steiner believes Hulkenberg has “other options” to potentially keep him on the grid for the 2020 F1 season.

“Nico’s a grown up, he’s doing this a long time. He has been here before in these positions. As I said I hope he finds a cockpit and that we have got him around next year as well in Formula 1 because he deserves to be here.”

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5 comments on “Magnussen not a factor in Haas’s decision to take Grosjean over Hulkenberg”

  1. Lol hulk would destroy mag, and mag would crash into hulk constantly

    1. Not sure how Hulk would destroy Magnussen considering KMag already has a podium and has been fighting Hulkenberg for best of the rest in a fledgling team.

  2. I cant believe that GRO still has a seat in F1. Dont get me wrong, i like the guy but he Haas to be the luckiest driver in F1 ever.

    1. Ahah, good pun!

  3. I like Guenther Steiner, but deciding to keep Grosjean over The Hulk is a stupid, stupid decision!

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