Steiner: Young drivers face difficult task in F1

Guenther Steiner admitted young drivers have a tough job in F1

Guenther Steiner admitted young drivers have a tough job in F1

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has conceded that young drivers face a difficult task when they graduate into F1.

The Haas team boss has opted to replace youngster Mick Schumacher with Nico Hulkenberg for 2023.

That decision was made based on the latter’s experience, claiming the team needs that input at the moment to help it return to being a consistent midfield contender.

Schumacher, he reasoned, did not have that experience given he only had two seasons of F1 under his belt – both with Haas.

“In racing, two years is pretty good time, but there is nothing before,” Steiner noted of the young German’s opportunity to grow and develop at the sport’s peak.

“He jumped straight from F2 to F1, the competition, because there is no testing.”

The lack of testing, and the opportunity to drive a current-spec machine outside of a race weekend, is a hurdle all young drivers now face entering F1.

It leaves them at a disadvantage versus those who’ve raced for a number of years, evidenced by Steiner’s decision to sign Hulkenberg.

“As you can see, we reverted back to get the experience of a driver which was in a car for three years, or not full-time, call it like this in a car,” he explained.

“The young drivers, he cannot really evaluate, or you take big risks.

“McLaren takes on [Oscar] Piastri, but in the end nobody knows how good he will be in an F1 car.

“He was very good in F3 and F2 but that doesn’t mean [anything]. It’s still a big step to F1.

“So obviously, I think it is a little bit of a, I wouldn’t say a problem is one of these things, you know how much risk you want to take to get in the car.”

Steiner also conceded that, at points, he and his team let down Schumacher but on the whole did a good job in supporting him during his tenure with Haas.

“I think we did a good job in that one,” he reasoned.

“I always said, we treat every driver fair and we do the best we can.

“Sometimes it wasn’t good enough from the team. I’m fully standing behind that, you know, that it was not him not performing.

“Sometimes we had issues, when we didn’t, we are not good enough. But we need to fix that one.

“But I think we always gave him the best we could and we’re always fair.

“Where equality with the drivers last year [was complained about], this year, there was always no issue with that one.”

In 2021, Haas employed two rookies to the F1 grid with Schumacher joined by Nikita Mazepin.

It slumped to its worst result on record, finishing 10th and last in the standings, the only squad not to score a world championship point.

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