Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is waiting to meet with team owner Gene Haas before being able to start discussions with drivers for the 2021 line-up.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are both out of contract at the end of this season, and Haas has been reluctant to focus on their deals while the team’s own future was up in the air. With Haas now committed to the new Concorde Agreement that ties it to Formula 1 for the next five years, Steiner says talks haven’t yet started as he needs to get direction from the team owner.
“No, the conversations haven’t started yet because I always said I wanted to first to get the Concorde deal done, and then we think about it,” Steiner said. “Gene hopefully comes to some of the next races and then I can sit down with him and discuss our drivers, or what he will do for the future, which direction we go.
“I think their strengths are they are both experienced drivers now. They are both with us a long time — Romain even a year longer that Kevin — and in the end they did a good job for us. But sometimes you need change.
“I’m not saying here that we change them; I just don’t know what we’re going to do. I’m not thinking a lot about that one right now. That will come (when I) sit down with Gene and have discussions with him. For sure he will have his ideas and we’ll put everything together and come up with a solution.”
Grosjean has been with Haas since the team entered F1 in 2016, but says he is unconcerned by the lack of talks so far, after a hectic start to the season that has F1 now undertaking its seventh race in nine weeks.
“There aren’t that many seats available on the grid, so this is great news that Haas stays in Formula 1,” Grosjean said. “Obviously it means it gives us a bit more opportunities and talks are going to happen at some stage but right now, 100% honest, we just focus on the racing and just get the best we can.”
Magnussen — who joined in 2017 — agrees, although believes the driver line-up should be the team’s next priority after the Concorde was signed.
“It’s been a busy time lately with all the tripleheaders and there’s another one now,” Magnussen said. “And also there hasn’t been a good reason to start talking drivers when the team future has been the main point to sort out. I expect that there will start to be some talks from now on at some point, so we will see about that.”