Aug.2 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg is an “interesting option” for Haas for 2020.
That is the admission of team boss Gunther Steiner, as the Sword of Damocles hangs over current Haas racer Romain Grosjean’s head.
Steiner was even asked at Hockenheim if he had thought about axing a driver mid-season, following a spate of collisions between Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
“That should only be the solution in the most desperate of situations,” he said.
As for 2020, Magnussen already has a contract, and he said in Hungary that he is “not worried at all” about his future at Haas.
Frenchman Grosjean, meanwhile, said: “I was more worried last year than this year.”
But it seems clear that the current Haas pairing is not quite working, prompting Grosjean to agree with his boss that team orders could be one solution.
“If that’s the short-term fix, then why not?” he said.
Another potential ‘fix’ is that the 2020 driver market will mean a new driver joins Haas for 2020.
Steiner said he is waiting for the silly season to really start firing.
“There is always a key moment that begins a chain of events, but so far nothing has happened. The driver market is in a sort of limbo, but negotiations are underway,” he said.
The Haas boss said Esteban Ocon is a “very good” driver, but he doesn’t like the idea of a one-year loan from Mercedes.
“We are not a training company,” said Steiner, who also said Daniil Kvyat has been impressive in 2019.
“You always try to evaluate the entire market, every candidate, and knowing that any decision carries with it a certain risk,” he added.
When asked about Hulkenberg, whose Renault future is in doubt, he answered: “It is an interesting option.
“As I said, you are trying to evaluate all the candidates and then choose the best, although it is obvious that we cannot afford some of them.
“I’ll talk to Gene (Haas) about it during the summer break.”