Wehrlein approached Haas about 2020 seat

Pascal Wehrlein approached Haas about a return to Formula 1 with the team for 2020, boss Gunther Steiner has confirmed, but the German’s time out of the sport ultimately counted against him.

Wehrlein approached Haas about 2020 seat

Wehrlein, who raced for Manor in 2016 and Sauber the following year, has spent the last two years competing in DTM and Formula E.

He has kept close ties to F1 through his role as a Ferrari simulator driver and, according to Steiner, approached Haas to see if there was a chance he could be considered for an F1 return next year.

But Steiner, speaking to German F1 podcast Starting Grid, explained that Haas’ preference for experienced current drivers meant he could not be put on the shortlist.

"He's been out of Formula 1 for two years now,” explained Steiner. “He was at the track a few races ago and he came to visit me and asked me if there was a possibility.

“I said: 'unfortunately not.’ For the reason that he wasn't in Formula 1 for two years. We want someone who has experience and has been in F1 for a long time.”

Wehrlein is expected to remain at the Mahindra FE team for season six alongside current teammate Jerome d'Ambrosio.

Decision between Hulkenberg and Grosjean imminent

While Haas has Kevin Magnussen under contract for next year, its second seat remains open as the outfit evaluates whether to retain Romain Grosjean or replace him with Nico Hulkenberg.

A decision could come before the next race in Singapore next weekend.

"It's between Nico and Romain,” added Steiner. “We haven't made the final decision yet, but it will happen soon."

Steiner said that Hulkenberg is a ‘very good driver’, while it was Grosjean’s lack of consistency that meant the team needed to think carefully about what it did for 2020.

“Romain is definitely good on a good day," he added. "But sometimes he has a few days that aren't so good. That's the problem with him."

Steiner also refused to get drawn into a discussion about whether Hulkenberg’s financial demands would be a potential block on a deal being done.

He said: "I don't want to discuss Nico's finances - whether he has enough money, whether he wants more. That's for him to decide.

“It's not just about finances and the last race. For us it's more about the team: What have we achieved, what do we want to achieve?”

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19

Photo by: Alessio Morgese / Luca Rossini

shares
comments
Hamilton wants challenge from rivals to continue

Previous article

Hamilton wants challenge from rivals to continue

Next article

Williams extends Mercedes power unit deal to 2025

Williams extends Mercedes power unit deal to 2025
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Pascal Wehrlein
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021