Haas Formula 1 boss Guenther Steiner says the team will announce its 2021 driver line-up before the end of the current season and insists the decision will not be “dependent” on results in Formula 2.

The US-based outfit is widely expected to field an all-rookie line-up consisting of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in 2021 following the team’s decision to cut ties with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at the end of the year.

Steiner previously said the team is in no rush to announce its driver plans, but speaking ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, he confirmed that an announcement would come before the end of 2020.

"We plan to announce it before the season is ending," Steiner explained. "We don't know exactly the date yet, or the day, but it's not long to wait.

"It's a maximum of two weeks, so please be patient.”

Schumacher is the current F2 championship leader and holds an 18-point lead over nearest title rival Callum Ilott, while Mazepin sits sixth heading into the final four races of the season, which concludes at next weekend’s second successive round in Bahrain.

Mazepin, who is backed by his Russian billionaire father Dmitry, is just seven points shy of a top-three position in F2 but needs to finish in the top seven in the standings in order to successfully claim an FIA superlicence.

Asked if the final call will be determined by F2 results, Steiner replied: “It’s not dependent on that one. I need to disappoint you on that!”

Steiner indicated that Haas will indeed run two rookies for the first time in its history in F1, explaining that the decision for teams to carry over their current cars into 2021 makes the timing perfect to take such a risk.

"If we bring in rookies - if - I think next year is a good time to bring in rookies," he added.

"Because next year the car will not be developed a lot. There's a freeze on the car, a homologation of the car, so you cannot make big changes.

"Obviously we can make aero changes, but the car will not change in terms of fundamentals.

"So it's a development, and not a new development. And next year our focus will be on the '22 car anyway, so I think it's a transition year.

"I think it will be a good year for rookies to come in, to learn about being in F1 to start off with, getting to know the people around, getting to know how to go to press conferences, and things like this."

 

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