Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has warned the team’s new drivers that they will soon have a problem on their hands if they come together on the track.
Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin will both make their debuts in F1 as part of the American squad’s 2021 line-up, and Steiner understands that both will be keen to make an impression. However, he has also made it clear that there are boundaries as to how far they can take their battles.
“[They are] two ambitious young drivers who want to show who is the better one,” Steiner told RTL. “If they fight without damaging the team, I have no problem with that.
“Only [if they do] when they get in their car, I’ll have a problem and then they’ll have a problem.”
Steiner appreciates that the two youngsters will be on a learning curve in 2021, but hopes that they can learn from any errors and go into the 2022 season as much more developed drivers.
“For me, it would be a success to have two drivers at the end of the year who have learned a lot and are ready for 2022, so that we don't make any more mistakes then,” the Italian explained. “[They need] the chance to develop. At the end of the year we should still have two young, but also experienced drivers. Two 'young-experienced' drivers should come out.”
It sounds likely that the plan is for the line-up to remain the same in 2022. “Just one year wouldn't do much. A rookie needs a year, has to get used to the team and to Formula 1. Then in the second year you can make progress. The driver and also the team around the driver.”
Despite the challenge ahead, Haas will be hoping to make steps forward after a difficult season in 2021 saw them finish in ninth place in the constructors’ championship, with just three points to their name.