“Money and talent” are Haas’s preferences for new drivers – Steiner

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team are considering a shorter list of drivers after confirming Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will not remain with them next year.

Sponsorship will be a factor in the team’s decision who to replace them with, but Steiner said he is in no hurry to make a decision.

He told media at Autodromo do Algarve today the decision to drop both drivers was communicated to them last week, by phone.

“We decided we wanted some change going forward because as you know, this year was an exceptional year for all of us,” he said.

“We just need to see how we how we go forward with the budget cap, where we can best invest our money and what we do. So that was the reason behind it. To say, ‘hey, we want to make a change’ and we need to get prepared for the new regulations in 2022 when it is a new world for everybody.”

Steiner, who revealed a few weeks ago that the team were considering up to 10 drivers, said that number is now “down to a lot less people”.

He said Haas had the luxury of being able to pick their drivers without worrying they would be signed by other teams, as there were more candidates than there are seats for 2021.

“There are quite a few opportunities out there and they are not going away because the market is a pretty small this year and I think we are locked into that one,” he explained. “So that’s the reason we’re not in a hurry to make announcements.”

Steiner said the priority is: “To evaluate everything properly and to make a good decision. The longer you have to think, decisions normally get better and you’ll get more clarity. So we are in no hurry, it takes as long as it takes.”

Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin, who brings considerable backing from his billionaire father, and Sergio Perez, who has several Mexican sponsors, are among those who have been tipped for the team’s two drives.

Asked if Haas was looking for a driver with sponsorship, Steiner said: “We could be, as well. Money and talent.

“Talent always needs to be there, not only money. Talent is very important or more important. But some people have got sponsorship they bring with them, so we are looking at all the options out there as well.”

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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24 comments on ““Money and talent” are Haas’s preferences for new drivers – Steiner”

  1. It’s gonna be between Perez, Mazepin and Schumacher

    1. Probably. Weighing what each has to offer (or what Ferrari offers for Schumacher). And Perez might be the one actually deciding whether he wants to go to a backmarker powered by Ferrari instead of one powered by Mercedes (Williams)

    2. Schumacher is going to Alfa Romeo with Kimi as teammate. But i think that depends on the money if Perez is going take a seat. Mazepin is almost certain of his seat as he will brings the most money.

  2. And they only went with money…

    1. Haha yeah “and by money and talent we mean money” (-8

  3. Mazepin looks like he will have his cake and eat it then. He’ll definitely want a slice of the action, be the icing on the cake for a decent year in F2 and could be the recipe for success.

    1. I expect the seat will cost his dad an almond a leg.

      1. But a seat at Haas would be the icing on the cake

  4. Haas bends over so Mazepin $$ buys his seat. Ferrari get second dibs with MS jr.

  5. Just wait and see. Within five years Gene Haas will pull out and Mazepin’s father will take over ownership. Remember how angry he was when he couldn’t buy Force India?

    1. Years? I would not be surprised if that deal becomes public tomorrow.

      1. Working on the team name Haasepin or Mazeaas?

  6. Grosjean and Magnussen have never done anything to warrant keeping them. Good move.

  7. Diego Oliveira
    22nd October 2020, 16:28

    Money and talent? That means Perez.

    1. For the money, Hulk for the talent

      1. Perez brought more than Hulk to the table. If talent doesnt bring a result, why do you need it.

        1. I disagree. Hulk brings the experience necessary to dial in the setup of the cars. These middle pack teams need a driver that can help with the setup. RIC is another one.

  8. Mazepin does not really deserve that seat or any seat. But his father will be the reason he does get one.
    Might as well give the seat the Sean Gelael.

    Schumacher, Ilott, Shwartzman are all better choices for Haas. Since they are Ferrari Academy drivers and if Ferrari wants them there I am sure they find a decent agreement. As for second driver, get Perez (since he has lots of financial backers).

    Anything else does not make sense.

    1. Mazepin might be undeserving, but he isnt nearly as bad as Galael. We are somewhere between Latifi and Fuoco.

  9. That’s what they should’ve done a few years ago.

  10. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    22nd October 2020, 18:08

    I really hope Perez gets a Haas seat. I think that would make a very good pairing. As for the second seat, I would imagine it will be some Ferrari academy rookie. I think either three are deserving and would be great potential for the sport.

  11. Oh easy Sergio Perez, most talented pay driver in the world.

    Any other taker? Mazepin guy? Not sure about his talent, but backing is quite talented.

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