Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says there has been a lot of interest from other drivers looking to join the team in 2019.
Kevin Magnussen is expected to stay with Haas for a third season as the team holds on option on the Dane, who currently sits eighth in the drivers’ championship. Romain Grosjean’s future is less certain after an inconsistent season so far, but a recent run of three point-scoring results – including two top sixes – in four races has increased the likelihood of Haas fielding an unchanged line-up next year.
“I wouldn’t say we are shopping around,” Steiner said. “You know, a lot of people are shopping with us, put it this way. 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 marketplace.”
Steiner says he takes some of the contact with a pinch of salt, as he doesn’t believe Haas is likely to be the team to kickstart the driver market while seats further up the picking order remain unconfirmed.
“It’s all ‘potentially’, and I don’t know where they are. For sure, [drivers] 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. I wouldn’t say we have to wait on [other teams’] decisions, but that could trigger the market.
“Maybe we will have decided already without knowing what they are doing; I’m just saying them deciding will trigger the market because then we have the facts of what somebody is doing – it’s not just asking around and presuming then we have got facts. If someone announces something, then we have actual facts to work with.”