Antonio Giovinazzi was a main contender to replace Mick Schumacher at Haas for the 2023 Formula 1 season, according to boss Guenther Steiner.
Following a two-year spell at Haas, 2020 F2 champion Schumacher lost his race seat at the end of the ’22 campaign to be replaced by Nico Hulkenberg.
However during the season, both Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen were forced to hand over their cars to Giovinazzi in FP1 sessions – outside of the mandatory rookie running to give the Ferrari tester experience in the new machines.
This led to speculation that Giovinazzi could be set to replace Schumacher, but this cooled after he crashed early on during a runout in the United States.
Steiner says that Haas are comfortable that they have got the right driver in Hulkenberg.
Steiner on Giovinazzi vs Hulkenberg
“He was in the beginning on the list of drivers,” Steiner explained to media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about the viability of Giovinazzi’s candidacy.
“But then I think you can see we took the best decision for the team in the end.
“Obviously everyone has their now opinions about drivers, but for us to do what we want to do at the moment and take the team forward, Nico was the best option for us.”
No concerns about Hulkenberg and Magnussen
Steiner also said that any previous history with Magnussen and Hulkenberg will not affect their working relationship.
At the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, the two clashed leading to Magnussen brushing Hulkenberg off in the paddock.
He says he has spoken to Magnussen about Hulkenberg’s signing, with no problems anticipated.
“We need to make sure that they get on, but I think they get on pretty well,” he said.
“I think they can go on holiday together, and they’ve got children about the same age. They’ve got a normal relationship.”