Haas team principal Guenther Steiner does not have to wait for Ferrari to decide what it wants to do with Mick Schumacher to finalize its driver lineup but is in no rush to make a call.
Schumacher is in his second season in Formula 1 and has had some eye-catching results after a tough start to the year, finishing eighth at Silverstone and sixth in Austria to score his first points. While the team’s close relationship with Ferrari led to Schumacher being placed at Haas in 2021, Steiner says it is up to himself and team owner Gene Haas to discuss over the coming months.
“No, we don’t have to wait to see what Ferrari says,” Steiner told RACER. “We never decide the driver before the summer break and we will not do so this year. Obviously I will start to speak with Gene over the summer break and then you know how we do it — you will ask again at the next race in Europe and then we will tell you some time in the end of September or October what we are doing, and the same will be happening this year hopefully.”
As Schumacher is connected to the Ferrari Driver Academy, Steiner says driver decisions are still taken by himself and Haas, rather than a condition of the partnership with the Italian team.
“I don’t want to speak about our Ferrari deal because otherwise they get upset!” he joked.
“At the end of the day I don’t know the real deal between Ferrari and Mick — and I don’t need to know. If he decides to go somewhere else, I cannot change it. Only Gene and me are involved in that process.”
At least one seat at Haas is already finalized, however, with Kevin Magnussen in a multi-year contract that Steiner says provides good stability for the team moving forward.
“I’m very happy; at least it’s one headache less. He’s doing a good job and he’s enjoying himself here — at least I think so! You’d have to ask him if he already regrets coming back but I don’t think so, I think he’s in a pretty good place. I don’t think he was expecting the car to be performing like it is, so for us to have him for next year is something less to think about. Let’s focus on getting everything ready for next year but not on the driver.”