Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has suggested that his squad may be interested in hiring Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Ricciardo will depart McLaren at the end of the year, following a difficult couple of campaigns with the Woking-based outfit.
Haas is yet to formally announce its complete 2023 line-up, with Kevin Magnussen tied down to a multi-year deal – however the future of Mick Schumacher is less certain.
Reports have hinted that the German driver could be out of a seat at the end of the year, with some linking ex-Force India and Renault racer Nico Hulkenberg to the position.
When asked by The Associated Press if Ricciardo was a potential suitor, Steiner said: “If he’s interested in us, he’s not shy to call me up. I am not going to chase him down.”
Ricciardo was a star driver in the F1 field before his move to McLaren, where his on-track form has diminished.
The Australian won last year’s Italian Grand Prix, but has been consistently out-performed by Lando Norris at the team.
The 33-year-old has been linked to a reserve driver role with Mercedes for next year, with Steiner asserting that Ricciardo alone must choose what is right for him in 2023.
“I want him to decide what he wants to do for himself, first, before being talked into something,” Steiner said.
“I think he’s a good driver and I don’t know how he got in the situation he’s in now, but I think he needs to come clean with himself and decide what he’s going to do.”
“For us he would be a big hit. He was a race winner and now he is without a job.
“He was a race winner just last year. I rate him as a driver, I have no idea why he doesn’t perform right now. That is for him to figure out.”
Steiner coyly batting his eyelashes over the top of his newly embossed Moneygram chequebook. Not very seemly when he hasn’t yet informed his current driver of what the future holds. It’d be ironic if Ricciardo doesn’t call, and then when offered a new contract Schumacher tells them to stuff it he’s signed up for a drive elsewhere. Not that I’m wishing for that to happen, I still hold the view that the best for Haas and for Schumacher is for them to have at least another year together, but there would be an element of humour involved if it did occur.