Haas will assess 'alternatives' before opening 2024 talks with Hulkenberg


Haas' team principal Guenther Steiner says the US outfit will first assess F1's driver market before holding talks with Nico Hulkenberg over a contract renewal for 2024.

Hulkenberg returned full-time to the grid this season and so far has delighted Haas with his results, having made it through to Q3 in the first three races of the season and scoring his first championship points with Haas last time out in Australia where he finished seventh.

Yet Steiner says it's too early to commit to Hulkenberg for 2024, but when the time comes he'll first have a look at his team's options in terms of its driver line-up for next year.


"It depends whether we are happy with him or not," Steiner said when asked about the Hulk's chances of remaining with Haas.

"We also have to see what alternatives there are, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes it’s important to stick to the status quo and get some peace and quiet into the house.

"But we haven’t talked about drivers or extensions at the moment."

Steiner noted that Daniel Ricciardo – who is currently fulfilling a third driver role with Red Bull – might be a driver of interest for 2024, although the Italian insists he's very happy with Hulkenberg's current level of performance with the team.

"I think Nico feels comfortable with us," he said, quoted by Motorsport Week. "The team and the engineers love working with him.

"He helps the team a lot to bring in his experience to bring us further forward. When I need him, he’s there for me – and when he needs me, I’m there for him."

Haas purposefully opted to steer its driver line-up towards an experienced combo this year, with Hulkenberg replacing Mick Schumacher alongside Kevin Magnussen.


Many were critical of Steiner for parting ways with Schumacher, but the Haas boss has no regrets over his decision to privilege experience over youth by pairing Hulkenberg and Magnussen together.

"Nico is settling in very, very well," he added. "I mean, he’s a professional, he has done this before, settled into a new team. That was one of the reasons we took him.

"He’s getting on good with Kevin. I think it’s a very good relationship, professional, you know. They are both now mature racers.

"They know what we expect from them. And they both deliver, and they try to work together to bring the team forward. And that is all that we wanted.

"So at a moment, I have no complaints on that side and hopefully it stays like this."

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