Haas formally announced on Thursday morning ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix that it will retain the same driver line-up for next season by confirming that Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin will stay on for a second campaign in 2022.

Continuation for the F1 rookies had long been considered a formality but a lack of official confirmation amid an evolving 2022 driver market had prompted some speculation over Schumacher’s future in particular, with suggestions the Ferrari protege could take the sole-remaining seat at Alfa Romeo.

Speaking to media including Crash.net on Thursday, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner revealed the American outfit was waiting on final details of Schumacher’s “long-term” Ferrari agreement to be signed off before making an announcement.

“As I always said, I didn’t see any issues but obviously it wasn’t signed,” Steiner said. “I would not go out there and say ‘it’s all done’ until it’s all done.

"Mick has got long-term agreements with Ferrari - which I don’t know the detail of it, so don’t ask me about that one - and they had to figure some things out and that’s what took some time.

“All in all, I knew it was moving in the right direction, it was just the need to sort a few things out, that was the only reason.

“As I always told you guys, it’s going in the right direction but it was not signed, and until it’s signed, I cannot announce anything.”

Asked if the delays prompted Haas to speak to other drivers, Steiner replied: “No I didn’t have any chats with anybody else because we just had to confirm them, it’s the natural choice.”

Steiner said Haas had originally planned to announce its driver plans for next season at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

“The aim was to do it in Monza but we didn’t get there,” he explained. “The honest thing was to do the announcement in Monza, we just missed a little bit the braking point, we overshot it.

"Therefore we did it here. There is no other reason we did it here. But I never spoke with any other drivers, no.”