JULY 27, 2019

Ocon set to kick off driver market

Esteban Ocon is the key to the 2020 driver silly season.

Esteban Ocon, Chinese GP 2019
© RV Press

Esteban Ocon is the key to the 2020 driver silly season.

That is the view of Gunther Steiner, who admits that after Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen collided again at Silverstone recently, Haas' next lineup is being considered.

"I was very angry and I was right," Haas boss Steiner told Sky Italia at Hockenheim.

"We had clear agreements after what happened in Barcelona, and they did not behave as we expected."

If a Haas driver is shown the door, it is likely to be Frenchman Grosjean, who has made mistakes, been generally outpaced by Magnussen and is also out of contract.

In contrast, Magnussen is already under contract for 2020.

When asked about the driver market, Steiner said: "There is calm at the moment. A domino needs to fall to start it moving and this has not yet happened.

"I think what happens with Ocon will be decisive."

Indeed, the Mercedes reserve driver is linked with the works team, which would make Valtteri Bottas available.

But if Ocon goes to Renault or Racing Point, Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez may then be on the market.

Steiner said of Ocon: "He has always been at the level of Verstappen, so I think he will be one of those pieces that will make the market move."

But if he could pick a 'dream driver' for Haas, Steiner admitted: "Hamilton is my dream driver, he's the numero uno of the day.

"Fernando Alonso? I don't think a two-time world champion would come to our team."