Who will lead Haas’ charge next season? Not only is it a popular topic of paddock conversation, it is also a question plenty of interested drivers have been asking, according to Team Principal Guenther Steiner. However, he has remained tight-lipped on his 2019 line-up…
The American team are enjoying an impressive third season in Formula 1, notching up their best ever result in Austria, and they are currently Renault’s closest challengers in the race for fourth in the constructors’ standings.
Kevin Magnussen has been the standout performer for them, delivering seven points-scoring finishes, and it is expected that he will remain with the team next season. However Romain Grosjean’s mixed performances – with just three top-ten finishes - has led to doubts over his future with Haas.
Steiner maintained his stance that Haas will decide on their partnership following the summer break, but he did reveal that their progression this year has seen them attract plenty of interest.
“I wouldn’t say we are shopping around. You know, a lot of people are shopping with us, put it that way,” he said, speaking during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
“There are people asking for obvious reasons and they want to see what we are doing and if somebody is asking that doesn’t mean they want to come, in my opinion, they might just be asking to see what other people are doing.
“We will decide after the holiday what we are going to do but at the moment we don’t think about it. There are a lot of people asking and it is part of my job to know what is happening in the market place.
“Yeah (there is more interest), but I have a good relationship with a lot of these guys anyway. I’ve got relationships with people and you just talk and they ask what is going on here and I give them the same answer.”
Midfield rivals Renault recently confirmed the surprise arrival of Daniel Ricciardo to partner Nico Hulkenberg next year, meaning Spanish driver Carlos Sainz is now available. Steiner, however, did not comment on which drivers have shown interest.
He added: “It’s all ‘potentially’ and I don’t know where they are. For sure, they go round and say I’m potentially on the market but it doesn’t make it a fact.
"At the moment it’s more gossip, because nobody has pulled the trigger yet on anybody. Everyone is looking everywhere but no one has decided what to do, so somebody has to make the first move.”
Haas are currently fifth in the standings, trailing Renault by 16 points. They’ll have the chance to close that gap when F1 returns to action at the Belgian Grand Prix on August 24-26.