Mick Schumacher’s future: Guenther Steiner insists Haas won’t succumb to Ferrari pressure

Who will partner Kevin Magnussen next season?

Haas team principal, Guenther Steiner, intends to take his time deciding on which drivers will be racing for him next season.

Mick Schumacher is out of contract at the end of 2022, and his future remains in doubt despite recent improvements made by the German.

The 23-year-old started the season shakily, crashing in Jeddah and Monaco, and he did not score points in any of the opening nine rounds of the season.

Not all of his performances were bad by any stretch; some of the races he walked away from scoreless were down to misfortune, and he finally grabbed those first championship points with an eighth-placed finish at the British Grand Prix.

READ: Mick Schumacher might keep Ferrari ties beyond 2022

Schumacher followed that with a P6 in Austria, securing his second points finish of the season as Kevin Magnussen got his fourth.

The Dane leads the qualifying battle 11-3 heading into this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix and, while his future is secure, the German’s is not.

Among potential replacements, if Schumacher does leave, are Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi.

As Haas boss since the beginning in 2016, Steiner knows how rushing into sponsorship decisions can be detrimental, so he will not be hurried into a decision on his drivers either.

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“It’s a start, not the end, it’s not that we didn’t speak together about drivers or what to do but we decided to wait a bit, we are not in a hurry,” he said, as per Autoweek.

“We monitor the situation with Mick and see what is happening.

“We are not in a hurry, why do we need to decide now anyway? If we decide now and make the wrong decision and we regret it, why would we force ourselves to decide?”

Ultimately, the Italian has to be certain that the drivers racing with the Banbury-based team are the right fit with the ambitions and aims of Haas.

“We have to make the choice based on who is best for the team, not just who I personally want, [it’s about] what is best for the team’s future, and that will come from the dialogue,” added Steiner.

“What do you want to do? A riskier version? A safe version?

“What we are looking for is someone to take the team forward. Is that a really fast driver or a solid driver who can help drive the team forward? Someone who has high peaks or someone more able to help us develop?”

Steiner revealed that he told Magnussen and his former team-mate, Romain Grosjean, that 2021 was going to be another rough year because of the team’s focus on the new technical regulations.

Now that there have been massive improvements though – Haas are seventh in the Constructors’ Standings – a place at the team is a little more appealing.

“For sure that cockpit is more interesting than it was last year,” stated Steiner in conversation with the Race.

“I remember when we let Kevin and Romain go at the end of 2020 and I said ‘guys, you probably don’t want to be here in ‘21 because it will probably be a very disappointing year’.

“Now the car is much better and I think will get better over time too, so obviously we are a much more interesting opportunity. But we are not in a hurry to make a decision.”

There are reports that Schumacher could cut his ties with Ferrari at the end of the season, and the Scuderia’s relationship with Haas could mean that they want Giovinazzi in the car next season.

Whether or not Schumacher remains part of the academy, Steiner assures, will have no bearing on his future with Haas.

“I don’t know the contract he has with Ferrari and I don’t want to know,” Steiner said.

“Ferrari would ask Haas to hang on to him and things like this, we will speak about, but we always speak to Ferrari and try to work together but they do not make the decision for us.

“You cannot make the decision for the other team because then you make it not work, that is the other thing.

“There are a lot of things that are pretty simplistic and we all know them, but it’s not like you can enforce something.

“Enforcing something, sometimes you don’t get the best result, it’s counter-productive.

READ: Mick Schumacher addresses Dutch GP’s ‘smelly’ problem

“We will try to find the best solution for us and Ferrari and if we cannot find it, we will do something different.

“It’s not like I can tell you what to do and I can ask you what to give me, a collaboration exists in finding the best compromise for both parties.”

Neither Magnussen nor Schumacher have scored points since the Austrian Grand Prix, but the short Zandvoort Circuit with its quick corners might be a chance to change that.