Guenther Steiner warns McLaren about Oscar Piastri

Haas have dropped Mick Schumacher for 2023 in favour of the experienced Nico Hulkenberg.

McLaren and Haas are preparing for 2023 in very different ways, with the British side opting for youth in their driver line-up, whilst the Americans have gone for experience.

As is well-known, Daniel Ricciardo has been replaced by 2021 F2 World Champion Oscar Piastri for 2023, with the Australian set to make his highly anticipated debut in the championship.

Piastri is one of the most talked about talents in the paddock, with many predicting that the 21-year-old will go on to achieve incredible things in Formula 1.

McLaren have opted to put their faith in Piastri delivering from the get-go, by opting to release the experienced Ricciardo.

READ: Lewis Hamilton makes admission about beating George Russell without Max Verstappen incident

Haas have gone in the other direction with their 2023 line-up, after dropping Mick Schumacher in favour of Nico Hulkenberg, who hasn’t raced full-time in F1 since 2019.

The American side have been criticised for not giving the 23-year-old enough time to prove himself; however, Haas boss Guenther Steiner has admitted that “time” is just the thing that the side “don’t have”.

“Obviously Mick cannot give us the wealth of experience of a Hulkenberg,” Steiner said.

“Experience takes time so of course that’s something we can’t blame Mick for. But time is exactly what we don’t have at the moment. We have to assert ourselves in the midfield, and for that we need drivers like Nico and Kevin Magnussen.”

Article continues below

Schumacher endured a challenging two years at Haas, with the first having seen him unable to fight amongst the midfield due to the team fielding a truly woeful car.

Some have even said that 2022 was more of a rookie season for the son of Michael Schumacher, who did make multiple costly mistakes.

It is incredibly important that Haas remain in the midfield, with that ultimately being why Steiner had no choice in his eyes but to get an experienced line-up.

“As a team we started well in Formula 1, then we stagnated and then we actually fell back. And that wasn’t Schumacher’s fault,” he told Speed Week.

“We are no longer the same Haas team as we were in early 2021. We knew that season was going to be very difficult because we focused our resources on the development of the new car for 2022.

“It wasn’t until this year that we made progress again, but our season has been one of ups and downs. And now we need drivers who offer the best possible chance of consistently scoring points,” Steiner added.

With remaining in the midfield being so important, Steiner has actually warned McLaren that they are taking a “risk” by opting for Piastri over Ricciardo.

Whether McLaren are indeed worried about having a rookie for next season remains to be seen, but Steiner has suggested that it might not go “as hoped” for the Woking-based outfit.

READ: Pato O’Ward admits he wants to replace Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri

“Young drivers are always a certain risk,” said Steiner.

“We know now that George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris are all outstanding racing drivers. But we didn’t really know that beforehand.

“Everyone sees Oscar Piastri as a fabulous talent, but honestly even McLaren don’t know if it’s all going to be as hoped.”