SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Haas boss plays down Renault switch rumours

Gunther Steiner has played down rumours Haas could be about to team up with Renault.

Romain Grosjean, Tuscan GP 2020
© Haas F1 Team / LAT

Gunther Steiner has played down rumours Haas could be about to team up with Renault.

The speculation follows Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul admitting that potential team partners "are interested in talking to us again".

Haas' current technical partner, Ferrari, is notably struggling in 2020.

But boss Steiner said at Sochi: "We are not jumping ship at the first moment of difficulties. Gene (Haas) and I assume that Ferrari can solve its problems."

He also said switching to another technical partner would be a huge task.

"Our entire infrastructure with Dallara is in Italy," said Steiner. "If we were to work with Renault, we would have to move to England."

Another issue for Haas is its driver lineup for 2021. Both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are admitting that they may even be forced to leave F1 altogether.

"The ovals in America scare me, but there are some interesting options in Europe," Grosjean said.

Magnussen added: "I am in the same situation as Romain."

There are rumours at Sochi that Haas has already signed a preliminary contract with Sergio Perez.

But Steiner said: "I do not doubt that Sergio is a great driver, but is he the best candidate in the long-term? I don't know yet."

Haas has plenty of other options, including becoming closer with Ferrari by signing a youngster like Robert Shwartzman or Callum Ilott. Steiner says a Friday practice session this season is even possible.

"Ferrari helped us this year when we got into trouble with coronavirus, so if they contact us with a request, I am ready for a discussion," he said.