Haas boss Guenther Steiner has issued a warning to the team’s drivers ahead of the 2021 season. Steiner has claimed that they’ll ‘have a problem’ on their hands if the two come together on-track.
Haas has opted for a rookie line-up this season. The team has recruited Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in place of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Steiner was fuming when Magnussen and Grosjean crashed and took each other out at Silverstone in 2019. While the new drivers are rookies, Steiner said he will not make an exception for them.
“If they fight without damaging the team, I have no problem with that,” he said.
“Only [if they do] when they get in their car, I’ll have a problem and then they’ll have a problem.”
However, Steiner will allow both of them the time to acclimatise to Formula 1 and understands it will be a drastic step up for the two. While the first year is for them to get used to the circuit and competition, Steiner is hopeful the two will gain experience and eradicate most mistakes in their second year on the grid.
“It would be a success to have two drivers at the end of the year who have learned a lot and are ready for 2022 so that we won’t make any more mistakes,” he said.
“You have to give rookies the chance to develop. At the end of the year we should still have two young, but also experienced drivers. Two ‘young, experienced’ drivers should come out.”
Steiner was outspoken about the fact that Haas does not intend to do any development work on its 2021 car. Instead, the team is focusing on the design for 2022. The team aims to return to where it was in 2018 when it was in the top 5 of the constructors’ championship.
Low expectations in 2021 season
As a result, Steiner has low expectations from the upcoming campaign. However, he is hopeful they can compete against some of its rivals.
“It would be ideal to leave Alfa Romeo and Williams behind. That will be difficult, it will be a fight like last year,” he said.
“Our engine will certainly be better. Alfa has it in there too, but maybe we can catch up with Williams, otherwise there’s not much more possible at the moment because we were just too far away last year.”
While Schumacher and Mazepin are set to feature in every race in 2021, Steiner has hinted that he is open to the idea of Magnussen or Grosjean stepping in to replace either of them if needed.