Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner says there is not one single “no-brainer” option for the team as it continues to deliberate on its driver line-up for the 2021 season.

Having committed its future to F1, the US-based outfit is currently focusing on what line-up it wants to have next season, with Steiner recently admitting that all options are on the table and revealing the team has a shortlist of up to 10 drivers.

One of those candidates is understood to be Sergio Perez, who is a free agent for next year after being replaced at the soon-to-be rebranded Aston Martin F1 team by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Perez is an attractive option given his form over recent seasons and the additional backing he could bring, but Steiner was unmoved when asked whether the Mexican is a ‘no-brainer’ for Haas to sign for 2021.

“There is nothing out there at the moment which is a no-brainer, because there are so many options out there,” Steiner said ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

“We need to try to make the best decision for the team mid-to-long term, not only the immediate. Because immediately, we don’t have an issue, but we need to see where we want to go mid-to-long term because there is where the opportunity is. We need to fix that one.

“It’s not that we need some quick cash for next year, we are actually fine on that. It’s a mid-to-long term, how can we get better? How can we get the best out of the team? How can we get back to our performance of 2018 and better? I think there is more opportunity now with the budget cap coming from next year onwards and the new regulations for 2022.

“It’s a lot more complex… For sure Checo is a good driver, I would never doubt about him, but is he the best for the mid-to-long term? I don’t know. That is what we are discussing and therefore it’s not as much a no-brainer as it seems to be.”

And Steiner insisted he is not concerned about potentially losing some of the drivers on Haas’ current shortlist to rival teams while his side continues to weigh up what is best to do.

“I’m not concerned because there is enough in there that you could get a good one out of it,” he explained.

“If it was clear-cut we would actually be entering talks with anyone of these people. We know there are only a certain amount of seats available and a lot more good drivers than open seats.

“I’m not saying good seats, because some of them are not this good which are open. But they are seats. So I am not concerned.”

 

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