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Guenther Steiner

Why Steiner has no regrets about previously dropping Magnussen

Haas opted to drop Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in favour of two rookie drivers for the 2021 F1 season. Now – with both rookies no longer at the team and Magnussen having returned – Steiner has been reflecting on the decision.

Magnussen Schumacher 2022 Bahrein
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To news overview © Haas

Guenther Steiner insists that he has no regrets about dropping Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in favour of two rookie drivers for 2021, despite the team having now reverted to a more experienced line-up.

At the end of 2020, Haas opted to bring in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin for the following season, giving both their debut in F1.

The team sacrificed their 2021 car in order to focus on preparing for the new technical regulations in 2022, meaning that both rookies failed to score points in uncompetitive machinery.

Mazepin was dropped ahead of the 2022 campaign following Russia's major military attack on Ukraine, and Magnussen made a surprise return to fill his seat.

Schumacher remained but has lost his place at the squad for 2023, with Nico Hulkenberg making a comeback to race alongside Magnussen.

Steiner doesn't regret rookie line-up

While Haas now have two veteran drivers, Steiner acknowledges that bringing the rookies in back in 2021 was essential for the team's financial survival at that time.

When asked if he regretted the decision, the team boss told media, including RacingNews365.com: "No, absolutely not, and I'll explain why.

"Two years ago, we were in a different position, and now we are in a different position again.

"I think we're in a lot better position now in Formula 1 in general than two years ago, when we had to find solutions [for] how to keep on going."

Steiner doesn't blame Schumacher for Haas' position

Haas made progress in 2022, with the team finishing P8 in the Constructors' Championship on 37 points, while Magnussen even scored their debut pole position in qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

However, when asked if Schumacher had fallen short of expectations that he would take the team forwards, Steiner insisted that this would not be something to blame on the 23-year-old.

"We see things in the team now which we need to fix, where we can do better with somebody else, take aside his performance and so on," Steiner explained.

"It's more like we need to bring the whole team up, not only the driver. It isn't Mick's fault that we are where we are. We have ourselves to blame, but we need to come up again.

"There is a shorter way [of doing that] by taking a guy with a lot of experience and he has done this in multiple teams, which were in similar positions like we are now."

Haas did what they could for Schumacher, says Steiner

In terms of supporting Schumacher to help him in making progress, Steiner feels that Haas did all that they could.

"I think we did a good job in that one," he added.

"I think, as I always said, we treat every driver fair, and we do the best we can. Sometimes it wasn't good enough from the team, I'm fully standing behind that, that it was not him not performing.

"Sometimes we had issues [where we were] not good enough, but we need to fix that one.

"I think we always gave him the best we could and we're always fair. We had equality with the drivers last year [and] this year, there was always no issue with that one."

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