The Haas shortlist for 2021 features up to 10 drivers, including Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are currently contracted to the team until the end of this season, giving Steiner flexibility with the team’s driver line-up for next year. Although a discussion needs to be had with team owner Gene Haas, Steiner says the confirmation that Perez is available after leaving Racing Point has expanded his shortlist further.
“Everybody who is on the market is considered,” Steiner said. “We lay everything on the table and then we see what we want. But it’s a general question. What do we want to do? Do we want to keep the drivers that we’ve got? Do we want experienced drivers? Do we want to start with young drivers? Do we do a mix of it? Everything is on the table. Nothing changes.
“The table gets fuller and fuller by the day at the moment, which is a good thing because then you have a choice, and choice is always good.
“We will discuss this with Gene and then come to a conclusion, but there are other people that tick boxes as well, it’s not only (Perez). So there are other people out there who have the same experience. For sure, Checo, I respect him a lot and what he did. As I always said with Sebastian (Vettel), it would be a shame if we were to lose him from F1; the same with Nico Hulkenberg not being here. They’re all good people. I don’t know what we’re going to do, there are a lot of options.
“We are close to 10 (shortlisted drivers). It’s amazing what is around at the moment. That’s why you see me very calm, because there are only 20 seats and we have got 10 potential people who could do the job, which is good. Two of them we have got already, so you’re down to eight, and two of them you know anyway.”
Steiner says young drivers are also part of the shortlist, with Ferrari Driver Academy members Mick Schumacher, Robert Shwartzman and Callum Ilott all fighting for the title and looking to progress to F1.
“We are speaking with everybody and we need to see what we want to do and then we decide what we’re going to do,” he said. “I don’t think there are many seats free at the moment anyway, that is on my side. There are a lot of people out there, we just need to make the choice. For sure there are young drivers on it, there are so many on it.”