Haas unlikely to risk a rookie driver next season – Guenther Steiner

Haas VF19 driven by Pietro Fittipaldi

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has said the team are unlikely to take the risk of hiring a rookie driver when they're still struggling to understand their current tyre woes.

Steiner had previously said the team is doing all it can to aid reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi's aim of securing a Super Licence with some believing he could be a candidate to replace Romain Grosjean next year, but Steiner admitted they're not in a position to run a rookie driver in a full-time seat yet.

"It’s an opportunity but it comes at a high risk rate, so it’s more like as a team we could do it, but do we want to do it? Because I think again this year if we had two rookies or a rookie, it wouldn’t help us, because we are a little bit lost where we are with the tyres and a rookie doesn’t help you," he said.

Although admitting it can be a risk, Steiner conceded that McLaren's decision to run rookie Lando Norris had paid off for the British team, which finds itself in a secure fourth place in the standings.

"This year I would say McLaren took the risk and did it very good," he added. "Lando is doing a good job, I think he’s very fast - but it can go wrong as well, and then it’s difficult to get out of that mess."

Haas' 2020 driver line-up does look set to change with the team growing increasingly frustrated with Grosjean's performance, with the suggestion a mid-season swap could happen with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg replacing him whilst Grosjean takes up a Formula E seat with Techeetah. Esteban Ocon could then take up Hulkenberg's Renault seat if Mercedes agree to loaning him.