Ocon or Wehrlein for Haas in 2020? "Being out of F1 for a year makes it difficult"

18-08-2019 08:17
by Matt Gretton
Ocon or Wehrlein for Haas in 2020? Being out of F1 for a year makes it difficult

Haas isn't having a vintage season in Formula 1. After fighting Renault for the 'best of the rest' position in the world championship last season, the American team now sit above only Williams. Romain Grosjean has had his usual slow start while Kevin Magnussen caused a couple of Haas collisions on track. It's a good time for Guenther Steiner to assess his options for 2020. 

"We are currently in a luxury position," jokes the Italian. "If things go badly, you have less to lose and you can take more risk," Steiner told Motorsport-Magazine. Still, the team boss doesn't want to employ a rookie. 

"And given our current shape, I'm also glad we don't have that done. But it is not that we will always hire a driver who has previously driven somewhere else. Some racers are happy that they have left Formula 1 because they have now found their place in a different class. Others, on the other hand, are eager to return. It depends on the personality whether you are doing well to get them back."

Esteban Ocon has been linked with Haas during the summer break. He agrees with Toto Wolff in that Ocon needs to make his return to the sport next season because spending longer than a year out of Formula 1 will make it too difficult to return. 

“More than two years is actually too much. Being out of F1 for one year makes it more difficult to come back. Esteban Ocon was very good in the last two years in Formula 1, now he is in the Mercedes simulator. That way you can still bridge a year, but after that, it becomes more difficult to give someone a second chance," Steiner added. 

“In addition, it is also not productive to give a driver a place for one year. If we don't want to be just training for someone, then a contract must be for more than one season."

If Haas wants to put Grosjean aside, then there will have to be a driver who meets Steiner's list of requirements. Pascal Wehrlein is a potential contender according to the Italian, despite the fact that the German has been out of F1 for a while.

“That just makes it a bit more difficult, but good: He is still active in another high class. Because of his races in Formula E, he is not completely gone from racing. At the same time, it would also be a risk for him. Does anyone still want to switch to Formula 1 after two years?"


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