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Steiner reveals Wehrlein approach for 2020 Haas seat

  • Published on 14 Sep 2019 12:34
  • comments 4
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Haas' team principal Gunther Steiner has revealed that the team were approached by ex-F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein in the hope of landing a drive with the team for next season. 

Wehrlein had previously raced in F1 for two seasons with Manor and Sauber, but was dropped by the Sauber team in favour of Charles Leclerc for 2018. Since, he competed in DTM and Formula E, and is currently a simulator driver for Ferrari.

Steiner revealed to German F1 podcast 'Starting Grid' that due to Wehrlein's absence from F1 for the last two seasons and Haas' preference to use experienced drivers in their lineup, that Wehrlein was not a future option for the team.

"He's been out of Formula 1 for two years now," Steiner said."He was at the track a few races ago and he came to visit me and asked me if there was a possibility.

"I said, 'Unfortunately not'. For the reason that he wasn't in Formula 1 for two years.We want someone who has experience and has been in F1 for a long time."

With Kevin Magnussen confirmed to be staying at the team for 2020, Steiner believes that the second seat is now down to two candidates - Renault's  Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean, who's been with the team since it's first season in 2016.

"It's between Nico and Romain," Steiner commented. "We haven't made the final decision yet, but it will happen soon. Romain is definitely good on a good day, But sometimes he has a few days that aren't so good. That's the problem with him."

Replies (4)

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  • Hulk is no doubt the better option. Unlike Renault with Hulk, HAAS has no doubt valued Grosjean as the driver they got started with and max props to them for that, but unlike Hulk, Grosjean hasn't been delivering on-track these last 3 years. His time in F1 is up. Some say Hulk should go to Alfa instead, and I'd be fine with that too (in fact, pitting him vs Kimi could potentially be great for him), but I think he'll be opting for HAAS.

    At any rate I feel Alfa should oust Gio and go for another driver. Maybe Wehrlein? Or maybe Kvyat? That could leave a spot free at TRH for Naoki Yamamoto, and I'd really like him to get a shot at F1.

    • + 0
    • Sep 14 2019 - 13:19
    • Kvyat to Alfa is a great idea.

      • + 0
      • Sep 14 2019 - 14:35
  • Kean

    Posts: 623

    Can't say I agree with their strategy of only looking at experienced drivers, and this whole business of a driver being undesireble for being out for two years, strange. What about the rookies we're seeing this year? Don't they prove Steiners point wrong? I'd say that Norris, Russell and Albon are performing significantly better than Grosjean, and Magnussen too for that matter. Are they looking for experience so they can develop their car? Well they have experience now and they're still nowhere near to solving their tyre issues. Granted I'd pick Hulk over Wehrlein, but I'd certainly pick Wehrlein over Grosjean.

    • + 0
    • Sep 14 2019 - 20:06
  • This IS a story to watch. He might do well in an F1 seat and his recent experience has probably improved his driving skill but I still don't think he's as good as Hulk. That being said, Hulk might be better off moving to another series where he can shine. If he can't land a top seat in F1 then he could probably kick some ass in just about any other series.

    • + 0
    • Sep 16 2019 - 13:13

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