If Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner could pick any two drivers from the current grid to replace his drivers, he surprisingly wouldn’t go for the most obvious choices. In a recent interview with Matt Baker, Steiner revealed that his top picks would be Max Verstappen and either Charles Leclerc or George Russell. He didn’t consider Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso, despite their impressive records and experience.
So, why did Steiner choose these three young drivers? Let’s dive into his explanations and weigh in on the debate.
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Max Verstappen: Talent and Mental Strength
Steiner’s admiration for Max Verstappen is quite evident. When asked about his reasons for choosing Max, Steiner explained that he believes the young Dutch driver is currently at the peak of his career, both in terms of talent and mental strength. He said, “He can do anything with that car at the moment. Everything seems to be going right for him and his talent is very high.”
Indeed, Max has been making waves in Formula 1, with multiple wins and a strong performance this season. His driving skills, coupled with his fearless attitude, make him a top pick for any team. Steiner’s choice of Max over Lewis Hamilton may surprise some, but he has a valid reason for that, too.
Why Not Lewis Hamilton?
When questioned about his decision to not include Lewis Hamilton in his top picks, Steiner cited the British driver’s age as a factor. He explained, “I wouldn’t say Lewis because he’s getting on with age, you know.” It’s worth noting that Hamilton is currently 36 years old, and while he’s still one of the best drivers in the sport, his age could be a concern for teams looking to build for the future.
Steiner did mention Fernando Alonso, another veteran driver, as an example of someone who can still perform at a high level despite being over 40 years old. However, he didn’t choose Alonso as one of his top picks, perhaps because the focus of his choices seemed to be on younger talents with bright futures ahead.
Charles Leclerc or George Russell: A Tough Choice
For his second choice, Steiner was torn between Charles Leclerc and George Russell. Both drivers have shown immense potential and have had strong performances in recent seasons. Leclerc has already established himself as a top driver at Ferrari, while Russell has managed to impress with his performances at Williams and his one-off appearance for Mercedes.
It’s difficult to pick between these two drivers, as both have their unique strengths and potential growth areas. Ultimately, Steiner’s choice would likely come down to a matter of personal preference and fit within the Haas team.
A Fantasy Scenario: Managing Max and Lewis
Though Steiner didn’t choose both Max and Lewis, Matt Baker playfully suggested that he would have liked to see Steiner manage the two of them together. The dynamic between these two drivers, who are currently fighting for the championship, would certainly be an interesting one. Steiner admitted that he hadn’t even thought about that possibility, but it would undoubtedly make for some captivating drama – and the “Drive to Survive” cameras would have a field day!