Formula 1 | Why Steiner would vastly prefer Ricciardo over Herta at Haas F1

After three difficult Grands Prix in France, Hungary then Belgium, Haas recovered in qualifying at Zandvoort: with a fine 8th place for Mick Schumacher yesterday.

Haas brought an evolved package ahead of the summer break, but does that explain the team’s overall progress? It was also necessary to understand the functioning and the contribution of these evolutions: has Haas succeeded in it and does everything work as expected?

Günther Steiner, team manager, answered these questions in the Zandvoort paddock.

“Yes, I think we understand this package. We see the gains, we’ve seen them in the wind tunnel, we see them on the track, which is the best you can hope for, because you can’t go back and compare. You could, but we don’t want to. »

“In fact, the downforce levels you see on the track match the numbers in the wind tunnel.”

How to explain that the new package did not work at all in Spa a week ago?

“At Spa…those high-speed tracks, they’re a bit of a problem for us, because our package on those aerodynamic loads…it’s not too good for him, you know.”

“We are working for next year to get something better on these kinds of tracks. Here in Zandvoort there are a lot of medium and fast corners, which should suit the car.”

Few changes have been made to the Haas this year: a strategy that Günther Steiner assumes because it is also a question of thinking about next year.

“We are not unhappy. We know we’re in the same position as Alfa Romeo – we haven’t developed the car much in the year, we jumped on next year’s car quite early. And so, you step back a bit. »

“I don’t think we’ve gone back much in midfield and it’s very tight, you know, between seventh and eighth and 18th there’s not a lot of space. You can be a hero or you can also be a zero, you know. So you never know.”

What future driver for Haas?

As Haas develops next year’s car, we also need to think about the driver line-up. If Kevin Magnussen is confirmed, the future of Mick Schumacher is uncertain.

Who else would Günther Steiner think of? To Colton Herta for example, who is also mentioned as a possible successor to Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri?

“He is not on the list at the moment because he does not have the Super License. I think we are more looking for someone who has already driven in Formula 1. We are betting on rookies [Nikita Mazepin et Mick Schumacher] last year and now we look more to someone who has been in F1 before. »

This strongly corresponds to the definition of Daniel Ricciardo… Is the Australian the priority of Günther Steiner?

“He has a great license. I’ve talked to a lot of people or messaged a lot of people and I don’t want to name them all here, but I didn’t want to get into deep conversations because then I’d be spending all day talking with potential pilots , because once you start the process, it continues, and so first we have to be clear about what we want, and then I will speak with the people I know. »

“Obviously, right now, it looks like…he [Daniel Ricciardo] is on the market. I didn’t speak to him after he announced he was leaving McLaren at the end of the year. I think he has to figure out what he wants to do in life for next year. So I didn’t tell him about it. »