Gunther Steiner, Haas Formula 1 team manager, said taking a fast, well-supported driver like Sergio Perez isn’t necessarily straightforward for his team.
The American squad are evaluating their driver options for next year, with their current line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen out of contract at the end of the season.
The dismissal of Perez from Racing Point, who chose to replace him with Sebastian Vettel, makes the well-funded Mexican an obvious target for Haas.
But despite Perez’s clear speed and the long-standing support he has received from Mexican sponsors, Steiner says he’s not an automatic shoe for the team.
“There is nothing right now that is obvious because there are so many options,” said Steiner, interviewed by Autosport for his thoughts on Perez.
“You have to make the best decision for the team in the medium and long term, not just now. Because right away we don’t have a problem, but we have to see where we want to go in the middle and long. term, because that is where I think the opportunity is, and we need to address it.
“It’s not that we just need a little money for next year. We’re okay with that. It’s a long term way: how can we improve? How can we make the most of the team? get back to our performance of 2018 and better?
“I think there are more opportunities now with the budget cap from next year and the new regulations from 2022.
“Of course Checo is a good driver, I would never doubt him. But is he the best for the medium to long term? I don’t know. That’s what we’re discussing, so it’s not. not such a no- as obvious as it sounds. “
Along with experimenting with options like Perez and his current drivers, Haas is also weighing the idea of going with rookies – potentially including some from the Ferrari Young Driver Academy.
One option could be for the team to try the youngsters in free practice sessions later in the year.
“It could be, I don’t know yet, it’s more of a Ferrari [decision], if they ask us to help them, ”Haas said.
“They are helping us this year, because we have our issues this year with COVID, so they are helping us and we are helping each other. If they ask, I would at least be willing to discuss it.”