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Haas F1 Team

'Very difficult' for Haas to reverse driver policy - Steiner

The Haas Formula 1 team fielded an experienced driver line-up this year, moving away from the philosophy of having youth in the team.

Steiner
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Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has admitted that it would be “very difficult” for his team to field two rookie drivers in Formula 1 again.

The American squad commenced the 2021 campaign with a duo of rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

It marked a difficult year for Haas who spent the season at the rear of the grid with an uncompetitive VF-21 car.

Mazepin was dropped ahead of the 2022 season following Russia's invasion of Ukraine which saw Kevin Magnussen return to the outfit.

Haas opted for further experience this year by dropping Schumacher for Nico Hulkenberg who made an F1 comeback after two years on the sidelines.

Both Magnussen and Hulkenberg will see their contracts expire at the end of next year but Steiner has played down the possibility of returning to a line-up consisting of youth.

“[It would be] very difficult,” Steiner told media including RacingNews365.

I mean, I think we learned enough to say that two rookies is more than a handful. It would be very difficult.”

Lack of testing time

Haas gave two free practice outings to Ferrari junior driver Oliver Bearman this year as part of the mandatory rookie sessions every team must provide.

The rule was introduced to compensate for the lack of opportunities young drivers have with reduced pre-season testing and the abolishment of in-season outings.

When asked if young drivers are given enough testing chances, Steiner stated: “What is enough?

“Obviously you can say, no, but then again, we don't want testing because then we go out and test the cars and spend money, money, money.

“So I think now what a lot of these drivers are doing, they're running with the older cars. These older cars, they're still pretty fast cars.

“I think they can make experience that way if a manufacturer pushes a young driver.

“So they've got the opportunity there. And then you have got FP1s, but obviously, would the drivers like to have more possibility to learn about F1? Sure.

“It is what it is and I think with the compromise that they can run two-year-old cars, I think we are fine.”

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