Steiner explains why Haas didn't make Hulkenberg offer

Haas Formula 1 team boss Gunther Steiner has explained the "close call" of forgoing an offer to Nico Hulkenberg in favour of retaining Romain Grosjean for 2020.

Steiner explains why Haas didn't make Hulkenberg offer

Hulkenberg, who will be released by Renault at the end of the season, was on Haas' radar to partner Kevin Magnussen for next year, before the team announced ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix that it would be carrying on with an unchanged line-up.

"It was a close call, you know, because they are both very good drivers and I hope Nico stays in F1," Steiner explained. "I like him and he’s a good driver.

"But in the end we decided to stay with Romain. He is with the team for four years, we know his highs and his lows. We know on a good day he’s a very good driver. He knows the team very well.

"The biggest reason is our car this year is not performing as we want it to perform - which in the end has nothing to do with the drivers we’ve got at the moment. It’s the car, we’re very conscious about that.

"Now changing the driver, I don’t know if it would help us make the car better. It could, but it could also not. Because the new guy wouldn’t know where we start off.

"Romain was a big part of getting the understanding of why we are wrong with the car at the moment. He was a big help. And we didn’t want to have any more unknowns or risks."

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com whether there were other factors that went against Hulkenberg besides driver continuity, Steiner said: "The main thing was that one. Do we want to make this step and introduce a new element to the team? That was the main reason why we stayed with Romain. Because we know what we've got."

Steiner, who said he and team owner Gene Haas were "very aligned" on the decision, denied suggestions that the two drivers' respective salaries played a part, as he believes Hulkenberg could've been available on an "acceptable" deal.

He made it clear, however, that Hulkenberg had not been approached with any formal offer.

"In the end, I want to clarify that - we decided to take Romain but I don't know if Nico would've come.

"We spoke but we never made a formal offer. So I don't know if he would've accepted or not, that you need to ask him."

shares
comments
Leclerc "focussing on the negatives" despite wins

Previous article

Leclerc "focussing on the negatives" despite wins

Next article

Vettel lacking "absolute trust" in Ferrari's car

Vettel lacking "absolute trust" in Ferrari's car
Load comments
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Prime

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021