Guenther Steiner says Haas open to signing Rookie in 2025

Jaden Diaz
22 Dec, 2023

Guenther Steiner says Haas must change their policy about rookie drivers, with the F1 driver market set to become very volatile. As it stands, Haas could be at the centre of a very hectic “silly season” in 2024.

Steiner’s driver pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen are both on expiring contracts. Over the last twelve months, they have performed admirably with a frustratingly limited VF-23.

The experienced driver duo managed to keep Haas in the fight for P8 after a series of strong results early on. Ultimately, this wasn’t enough – as a lack of race pace relegated the American team to last place.

Partly because of this, Hulkenberg has become quite vocal about the team’s limitations. His assessments are largely accurate – since Guenther Steiner’s team continues to struggle with mid-season development.

In any case, there are already rumours about the 36-year-old exploring other options. Sauber is the most logical, given the established interest between the two sides.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-23 retired from the race.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

With this in mind, it seems plausible that Haas explores options in Formula 2. Although there is no telling how the market will evolve, it seems plausible that Steiner will struggle to attract experienced or established drivers.

Seemingly acknowledging this reality, the team principal amended his previous anti-rookie policy:

“The choice will be taken off… In ’25, there will be some drivers finishing their careers,” he told Speedcafe.

“At some stage, you don’t have any choice. And then you just try to do the best you can. 

“We will be older than we were last year, so obviously, we will be more prepared [for a rookie].”

Steiner’s comments don’t seem to refer directly to Hulkenberg – especially since the two oldest drivers in F1 are Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The latter is on a multi-year contract, whilst Alonso can very plausibly continue with Aston Martin 2025. Either way, the decisions of these drivers are unlikely to impact the Haas F1 Team.

Instead, the emergence of a young talent such as Oliver Bearman (coupled with the possible exit of an existing driver) could force Steiner to sign a rookie.

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