Steiner: Improved form making Haas attractive to drivers


Having said that it will decide on its 2019 driver line-up after the break, an already difficult choice has been further complicated for Haas by its improved form over recent race weekends.

While getting to grips with its tyre issues has allowed the American outfit to take a significant step forward this year, so too has the improvement from the Ferrari power unit.

Indeed, the American team's progress can not only be judged by the fact that it is currently fifth in the team standings, but by the outcry from rivals who claim it is effectively a B-team for Ferrari.

Indeed, expressing their unease ahead of Force India's buy-out, Williams, Renault and McLaren cited the American outfit's relationship with the Italian manufacturer as the cause of their fears, of Mercedes becoming more involved with the Silverstone-based team... until Williams itself saw a means of getting closer to the German manufacturer.

While Haas is likely to retain Kevin Magnussen, it looks as though the American team will opt in favour of Charles Leclerc over Romain Grosjean as the youngster continues his apprenticeship before a full-time move to Maranello.

However, Steiner admits that in light of his team's improving form there has been interest from a number of potential drivers.

"I wouldn't say we are shopping around," said the Italian, according to the official F1 website. "You know, a lot of people are shopping with us, put it that way. There are people asking for obvious reasons and they want to see what we are doing and if somebody is asking that doesn't mean they want to come, in my opinion, they might just be asking to see what other people are doing.

"We will decide after the holiday what we are going to do but at the moment we don't think about it. There are a lot of people asking and it is part of my job to know what is happening in the market place.

"Yeah there is more interest, but I have a good relationship with a lot of these guys anyway. I've got relationships with people and you just talk and they ask what is going on here and I give them the same answer.

"It's all 'potentially' and I don't know where they are," he admitted. "For sure, they go round and say I'm potentially on the market but it doesn't make it a fact.

"At the moment it's more gossip, because nobody has pulled the trigger yet on anybody. Everyone is looking everywhere but no one has decided what to do, so somebody has to make the first move."

Of course, Fernando Alonso's announcement yesterday hasn't made the situation any clearer... quite the opposite in fact.

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Published: 15/08/2018
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