Haas may replace Schumacher with Daniel Ricciardo or Nico Hulkenberg

Haas may replace Schumacher with Daniel Ricciardo or Nico Hulkenberg

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner is still considering his options as he tries to select who will compete alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023.

Magnussen re-signed with the American team at the beginning of this year after initially being released together with his then teammate Romain Grosjean at the end of 2020. Haas decided to have an all-rookie line up for 2021 after signing Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin from Formula 2.

The Dane took Nikita Mazepin’s place after the latter was let go prior to 2022 as a result of Russia’s escalating invasion of Ukraine. Mick Schumacher’s contract with Haas expires at the conclusion of this season, despite having a multi-year agreement with the team.

Upon his return, Magnussen made a strong impression, scoring points in each of the season’s first two races. Since then, he has added two more top-10 finishes to his resume.

After having a difficult start to the year, Schumacher finished sixth in Austria to set a new career high before earning his first championship points in the British Grand Prix. As a result, Magnussen is currently the only driver signed for next year as the 23-year-recent old’s improvements have not been sufficient, at least not yet enough to secure him a contract.

According to ESPN, Steiner spoke with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo as the Australian was about to leave the British team after his contract was terminated prematurely. Due to a compatibility issue between himself and and the current McLaren car, the 33-year-results old’s have not been up to pace, and the relationship has regretfully not worked.

He is currently searching for a seat for the upcoming season, and it is highly likely that he may go back to the group that he originally signed with to join McLaren, Alpine.

After Sebastian Vettel retires, Fernando Alonso will join Aston Martin, and with Oscar Piastri anticipated to join McLaren to replace Daniel Ricciardo, the door could be open at Alpine. Joining Haas would be a possibility, but given the team’s affiliation with the Scuderia, Haas would probably need to use a driver with ties to Ferrari.

The Formula 3 drivers Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman are most likely not quite ready yet, so Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman would be among the alternatives.

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However, this does not imply that Steiner and team owner Gene Haas do not have a significant influence over who competes for them. As a result, Ricciardo is a possibility, but so is their current driver Schumacher, who has been rumored to part ways with Ferrari at the end of this year.

“Do we take a risk with a new driver like Daniel Ricciardo who has had a difficult time at McLaren, or do we stick with what we know? and who says Mick is going, anyway?” Steiner asked. “That’s what the media says, not me, I say everything is open.”

The Haas team principal went on to say that only Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton can promise the finest performance everywhere they go. According to the Italian, everyone else is a “risk,” and if Ricciardo joined the squad, he would need to replicate his Red Bull and Renault performances.

“Hulkenberg would be a risk, Ricciardo would be a risk, everyone is a risk except Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen,” he said. “At the moment it is my job to think about who is better, and that’s not easy… Ricciardo could be better if he gets back to his old form.”

There are currently no drives available for Schumacher, Ricciardo, Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda, or Nicholas Latifi for the upcoming season.

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