Guenther Steiner has revealed that Pascal Wehrlein approached Haas about driving for the team in 2020, but was rejected as he has spent too long without a race seat in Formula 1.
Wehrlein last drove in F1 for Sauber in 2017, scoring just five points across a season in which his team finished bottom of the constructors’ championship.
The former Mercedes junior driver raced in DTM for HWA last year, but left the Silver Arrows programme and has spent 2019 racing in Formula E for Mahindra, as well as performing simulator duties with Ferrari.
However, with Haas likely looking to recover from a disappointing 2019 season of their own next year, Steiner says experience is key.
“He’s been out of Formula 1 for two years now,” Steiner told the Starting Grid podcast.
“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.”
Some estimates put Hulkenberg’s Renault salary level with Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen‘s pay from Haas combined, but Steiner says the financial consideration is not the team’s main concern.
“It’s between Nico and Romain. We haven’t made the final decision yet, but it will happen soon,” Steiner 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?”