Steiner Reveals ‘Close Call’ of Choosing Grosjean Over Hülkenberg for 2020 Haas Drive

by Paul Hensby

Following the news that the Haas F1 Team will run with an unchanged driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in 2020, Team Principal Guenther Steiner hopes Nico Hülkenberg finds a way to remain in Formula 1.

On Thursday, Haas confirmed that Grosjean would continue to partner Magnussen, remaining with the team for a fifth consecutive season, with Hülkenberg the primary driver to miss out having spoken to the team about a drive having already found out earlier this season he would be exiting the Renault F1 Team at the end of 2019.

Steiner says the decision to keep Grosjean rather than bring in Hülkenberg was down to the desire to maintain continuality at Haas, with the Frenchman’s position in the championship standings more down to the VF-19 rather than his driving ability, something the team principal wants to address.

Grosjean’s ability to understand what is and was wrong with the car has helped the team develop in 2019, and whether Hülkenberg could come in and do better or not, it was decided to maintain the same driver pairing for a third consecutive campaign.

“It was a close call, you know, because they are both very good drivers and I hope Nico stays in F1,” Steiner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I like him and he’s a good driver.

“But in the end we decided to stay with Romain. He is with the team for four years, we know his highs and his lows. We know on a good day he’s a very good driver. He knows the team very well.

“The biggest reason is our car this year is not performing as we want it to perform – which in the end has nothing to do with the drivers we’ve got at the moment. It’s the car, we’re very conscious about that.

“Now changing the driver, I don’t know if it would help us make the car better. It could, but it could also not. Because the new guy wouldn’t know where we start off.

“Romain was a big part of getting the understanding of why we are wrong with the car at the moment. He was a big help. And we didn’t want to have any more unknowns or risks.”

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