Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is keeping his options wide open as he continues to decide who should race alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023.
Magnussen re-signed with the American side at the start of this year having initially been released at the end of 2020.
The Dane replaced Nikita Mazepin, who himself was dropped ahead of 2022 amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
He is signed to a multi-year deal with Haas, while Mick Schumacher’s contract runs out at the end of this season.
Magnussen hit the ground running upon his return scoring points in both of the opening two rounds of the season, adding two more top 10 finishes to his tally since.
Following a rough start to the year, Schumacher scored his first-ever championship points at the British Grand Prix, before achieving his career best finish of sixth in Austria.
However, the recent improvements from the 23-year-old have not been enough, just yet at least, to earn himself a deal going into next year, so Magnussen is currently the only driver signed on for next year.
Steiner was reported by ESPN to have made contact with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo amid the Australian’s imminent departure from the British side.
The 33-year-old’s results have not been hitting the mark due to an incompatibility between himself and the McLaren car, and the partnership, sadly, has not worked out.
He is now looking for a seat next year, and it is entirely possible that he could return to the team from whom he signed for McLaren – Alpine.
Fernando Alonso is leaving the French side to join Aston Martin after Sebastian Vettel retires and, with Oscar Piastri expected to join McLaren to replace Ricciardo, the door could be open there.
Joining Haas could well be an option, but Haas would likely need to put a Ferrari-linked driver in their car owing to their relationship with the Scuderia.
Among those options would be Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Shwartzman, with Formula 3 drivers, Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman, likely not quite ready yet.
However, this does not mean to say that Steiner and team owner, Gene Haas, do not have a big say as to who races for them, so Ricciardo is a possibility, but so is their current driver Schumacher, who has been touted to cut ties with Ferrari at the end of this year.
“Do we take a risk with a new driver like Daniel Ricciardo who has had a difficult time at McLaren, or do we stick with what we know?” Steiner said.
“And who says Mick is going, anyway? That’s what the media says, not me, I say everything is open.”
The Italian added that Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the only drivers who guarantee the best performance wherever they go.
Everyone else is a “risk”, and Ricciardo would need to find his Red Bull and Renault performance if he were to enter the team.
“[Nico] Hulkenberg would be a risk, Ricciardo would be a risk, everyone is a risk except Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen,” added Steiner.
“At the moment it is my job to think about who is better, and that’s not easy. Ricciardo could be better if he gets back to his old form.”
Schumacher, Ricciardo, Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda and Nicholas Latifi are all currently without drives next season.