Guenther Steiner says Haas is interested in signing Nico Hulkenberg as a partner for Kevin Magnussen in 2020 after his release from Renault.
Hulkenberg (pictured at left, with Steiner and Magnussen) will be replaced by Esteban Ocon next season, with Ocon signing a two-year deal to partner Daniel Ricciardo. Speaking before the move was officially announced, Steiner said he is interested in Hulkenberg given his experience, and had placed Ocon in the same category as potential replacements for Romain Grosjean should Haas opt for a change next season.
“You guys know that the market was pretty simple,” Steiner said. “It’s not that complex — it’s like who is going where, there are two or three people out there and we see if it fits what we want to do. They need to decide.
“I would say (Hulkenberg is of interest). There are not many drivers here, as I always said to you. Our team always have drivers with experience, so for sure there is interest; there (was) interest for Ocon. I always said that they are the two, and there is interest for Romain as well, so we just need to decide who we go with.
“They are the three with experience; I don’t see anyone else who has got experience who is on the market.”
Confirming that Magnussen is under contract for next season, Steiner also played down the rivalry between the Dane and Hulkenberg despite on-track incidents and off-track spats in the past.
“I think we are running into each other even without history! We will manage. I don’t think about that, it’s about the team. We are all grown-ups — this is a business. I’m sure you (journalists) have colleagues you don’t like to work with, but you still work with them because it’s a business. We need to be practical on this stuff if it gets there. It is not a thing that would influence what we are doing. That is their problem, not ours, should it happen.”