With the United States Grand Prix just over a week away, Haas have announced that they’ll be holding a special press conference ahead of the weekend, with the conference set to take place next Thursday.
It was initially thought that it could potentially be a press conference to announce who will partner Kevin Magnussen next season; however, according to Auto Motor und Sport reporter Tobi Gruner Haas will not be announcing their second driver for 2023 during the press conference.
Other reports are suggesting that it could be that the American side are set to announce a new sponsor at their home race, something which seems feasible if the press conference hasn’t been arranged to announce their full driver line-up.
The battle for the second seat is set to be a straight fight between Mick Schumacher and Aston Martin’s reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who hasn’t raced in F1 full-time since 2019.
It was believed that Hulkenberg had become the favourite for the seat, with Schumacher also being linked to the vacant Williams seat; however, the newest rumour is that Schumacher will be retained by the Americans.
In all honesty, it appears that Haas and team principal Guenther Steiner aren’t sure what they want; however, that’s no surprise given that the Italian isn’t in a “hurry” to make a decision.
“We’re not in a hurry. And there’s not a lot of things moving. So why should I be in a hurry?” he said at the Singapore Grand Prix.
After a tough start to the season, following two big crashes at Saudi Arabia and Monaco, Schumacher has arguably been the better of the two Haas drivers.
He would’ve scored points at Singapore had he not been hit by George Russell and was in the points last weekend at Suzuka before a Haas strategic error ended any hopes of a first top 10 since Austria.
Steiner wants the team to get “stronger” in 2023, with the boss aware that he needs to get the decision right to ensure that the side take another step forward next season.
Being one of the last remaining seats also puts the Americans in a favourable position, as a number of drivers are after a seat in the championship.
The Haas boss is “thinking it properly through” and won’t be rushed into announcing Magnussen’s team-mate for next year.
“What do we need to do to get the team better, to help ourselves? What kind of drivers? We just want to see how Mick is doing. There’s a lot we are watching,” admitted Steiner.
“We are not just sitting there doing nothing, we are seeing what is happening and we know we want where we want to go: we need to get a stronger team for next year and for the future. So that is why we are waiting. So, as I said, there is no hurry and we are thinking it properly through.
“The only thing we don’t want to make, maybe next year, saying we made the wrong decision because we didn’t follow through enough, you know? And not having the pressure to do anything – because I don’t think there is a lot of opportunities out there anymore, and we will not miss any of them – we are not in a hurry.”