Nico Hulkenberg joins struggle for 2023 Haas F1 seat

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Whereas there has but to be official affirmation that Schumacher gained’t be retained, crew boss Gunther Steiner has been actively speaking to different candidates in current weeks.

Antonio Giovinazzi, who drove for the crew in FP1 in Monza final weekend, has been excessive within the listing for a while. 

He’s the favoured alternative of engine companion Ferrari, though Steiner says that the Italian marque has no say within the matter and may solely supply recommendations.

Hulkenberg, who competed within the first two races of the season as reserve driver for Aston Martin, can be on the listing of candidates for Alpine.

The German raced for the Enstone crew in 2017 and 2018, and is well-known to crew principal Otmar Szafnauer from his Pressure India and Racing Level days. Nevertheless, sources recommend that F2 star Jack Doohan is edging nearer to the Alpine drive.

Steiner conceded that Hulkenberg is a candidate for Haas however insisted that he’s one in every of many drivers who’re nonetheless into consideration.

“Everyone with a superlicence is on the listing,” he instructed Motorsport.com. “I believe he is a candidate like all the opposite ones, as a result of he is obtained a superlicence, he has completed F1, he has expertise.

“I imply, there’s no one who’s racing now that you could possibly get when you wished to vary. We simply should see what’s the finest resolution.”

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photographs

Giovinazzi did his trigger no hurt by placing in good efficiency in FP1 at Monza, having warmed up by driving final yr’s Ferrari at Fiorano a couple of days earlier. 

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He completed the session simply 0.3s shy of normal driver Kevin Magnussen regardless of a mistake on his finest lap.

Giovinazzi can have one other FP1 run n Austin, however Steiner continues to downplay the importance of his classes, confirming that they had been agreed as a favour to Ferrari crew boss Mattia Binotto, who wished his reserve to get some mileage.

“Folks suppose too deep into it,” mentioned Steiner of Giovinazzi. “It was extra that Ferrari requested us to run their reserve driver, it was not ‘now we have to check him and take a conclusion out of this.’

“He did an excellent job coming in, he has by no means pushed this regulation automobile. He was on the on the ball instantly, he was superb.

“It is good to see that the automobile is sweet, as a result of if any individual who hasn’t been within the automobile for a yr does these instances, the automobile can’t be too unhealthy.”

Giovinazzi has made it clear that he needs to return to the grid in 2023.

“We noticed that this yr we had a very foolish season with the driving force market and all the pieces, and I do not know what it will likely be,” mentioned the Italian.

“I wish to be right here subsequent yr for certain, it is not a secret, however it’s not in my fingers. So let’s have a look at what we are able to do, and for now I deal with doing an amazing job in these two classes. One is over, now we’ve one other one.”

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Haas reserve Pietro Fittipaldi stays one other candidate for the 2023 seat, with some sources indicating that he is likely to be hooked up to a sponsorship deal.

The crew has not but used both of its rookie FP1 classes, and the Brazilian – who began the ultimate two races of the 2020 season – stays certified to do them, and is the crew’s present alternative for the job.

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