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Steiner: I have 'no appetite' to take on rookie at Haas

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has spoken exclusively to RacingNews365.com, and was comfortable in detailing why he doesn't want rookies at the Haas team at this stage.

Guenther Steiner says he has "no appetite" to take on a rookie Formula 1 driver at Haas after a troubled period for the team. Steiner elected to drop experienced racers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at the end of 2020 for new Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in the 2021 season. However, Mazepin failed to deliver and was sacked before the 2022 campaign after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while Schumacher stayed on and scored points twice, but also suffered multiple heavy accidents and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, who Steiner felt was more in tune with Haas' midfield expectations. He partners Magnussen who replaced Mazepin, with the duo scoring points twice in the opening three races thanks to a 10th and seventh for Magnussen and Hulkenberg respectively. Steiner feels that the best way for Haas to catch up "is with people who know what to do" in the midfield.

No rookies for Haas

"At the moment, I have no appetite for a rookie," Steiner exclusively told RacingNews365.com after a fan event with Haas title sponsor MoneyGram promoting his new book, Surviving the Drive. "If you ask me now, we'll be taking experienced [drivers], with rookies, there's always a risk and there is an opportunity that you'll find the ultimate talent, but at the moment, for us as a team, what we need is experienced drivers to bring the team forward because it still needs development. "We are still the youngest team in F1, and the others are getting better and better, and we need to follow and even catch up. "The best way to catch up is with people who know what to do – and that is drivers which have done it [in the midfield] like Nico. "He has done it in more than one team which were running in the midfield, and we are trying to get his experience with him giving advice."

Ricciardo rumours

After losing his McLaren seat at the end of 2022, Daniel Ricciardo was touted as a possible driver for Haas but decided to take a year off from racing as no seat appealed to him. He is currently serving as Red Bull's third and reserve driver. When asked if Ricciardo was an option for 2024, Steiner admitted it was still "too early" but did not fully rule out the possibility of the Australian joining. "It's a little bit too early to speak about [replacing] drivers that have only done three races, but I don't know what Daniel actually wants to do with his life," Steiner explained. "He needs to see what he wants to do, and maybe at some stage, he asks us if we have a drive for him, but at the moment, we are focused on our driver and giving them the best possibility to do what they need to do. "We will see where we are in maybe six to eight months, and you need to make decisions."

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