ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Guenther Steiner was so confident about Haas continuing with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg next year he did not talk to any other drivers.
Haas’ 2024 line-up was confirmed on Thursday ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix. Hulkenberg was initially offered a single-season deal this year after ending a two year spell on the sidelines, while Magnussen was in the second year of the contract he signed last year – a deal which also brought him back from a time away from F1.
With limited options elsewhere, Steiner said it was an easy decision.
“It was pretty straight forward since a few months [ago],” Steiner said. “Nico, at the start of the year we didn’t do a two-year contract because we didn’t know how he comes back. But he came back very strong.
“I think we have got the driver pairing we can get at the moment with our financials and with our attractiveness of car. I never actually spoke to anyone else.”
Last year featured a lot of movement in terms of drivers switching teams. Although Daniel Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri this year, the driver market for 2024 has been quiet in comparison.
Haas ran with two rookies in 2021 before Magnussen returned as Mick Schumacher’s teammate last year. When asked why a young driver was not considered this time around, Steiner said the team is not in a position currently to make that kind of call.
“If you look around at this options, there’s not a lot without risk. And I don’t want to take any risk at the moment because I don’t think that’s appropriate.
“You can take a risk if the risk is worthwhile to take, but at the moment, we want stability. We have got one part of the team sorted out well with the drivers, in my opinion. Now we have to work to work on the car to sort that one out. You go step by step.
“Last year, the drivers were a concern. This year, they are not a concern. Next year, they will not be a concern. Good. Tick the box and move on to the next thing you have to improve.”
Haas has struggled for points this year. Steiner felt having two experienced and older drivers in the car was better suited for both his personality and the team’s current situation.
“I think rookies coming in… I think my character is more for someone who has done it,” he added.
“I assume everybody is better than me. When you assume that, sometimes it’s like, what are you saying? Why don’t you understand that?
“With then both I can speak [freely]. It doesn’t mean we always agree on everything, but I’m fine with it and I’m fine with it. We agree to disagree and move on, we are not falling out about it or not questioning ‘what did you say, what did I say’.
“When we talk to the press, I say sometimes, if you’re unhappy with something, say it. You can get attacked from me but don’t get upset. I don’t get upset. I can tell them and they know the language I’m talking. They’ve both been here a long time.
“It’s different. They know more. They’re older as persons as the rookies were. They’re young guys with a lot less life experience as well.”