Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says “there is no desperation setting in” about its driver line-up decision for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

The American squad is currently evaluating whether to retain Romain Grosjean alongside Kevin Magnussen for a fourth season together, or to sign Nico Hulkenberg after the German lost his Renault seat to Esteban Ocon.

With Magnussen contracted until the end of 2020, Steiner confirmed the sole-remaining seat at Haas will be a straight shootout between Grosjean and Hulkenberg, and he said “hopes” to announce a decision ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix at the end of the month.

“There is no desperation setting in,” Steiner said to media at Monza ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“The market wasn’t moving a lot this year and there are not a lot of big movements going on. It is very difficult to decide what is better to do, therefore it takes a little bit longer, it’s not ‘is he good or is he not good’.

“We know Romain pretty well but I can see what Hulkenberg has done. But it’s about what is fitting better in the bigger scheme of things in the team going forwards.”

Steiner insisted Haas’ decision would not be determined by results on a race-by-race basis, but rather which driver fits the team’s vision better moving forward.

“We are not going to judge Romain on a race-by-race week,” he explained. “For sure he needs to do a result, but he knows what helps and what doesn’t help.

It’s more like where do we want to go with the team in the future? That’s the bigger decision.

“We know Romain pretty well, we know his strengths, and if he has one bad weekend it doesn’t mean the next one isn’t fantastic.

“We know that one but we need to know make the decision for the team where we want to go next. What is better, stay with what you know, or go for something new? That is the bigger decision to be made at the moment and that takes a little bit of time.

“If there would be a clear decision it would be easy to make and we would agree immediately. We are not sure what is the best.

“We try to find and make the best decision for the team. What we have now is not bad but can we make it better? And how big is the risk – we want to make it better and it might not go in the right direction.”

 

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