Jul.24 - Formula 1 teams are racing away from taking a punt on rookie drivers, according to Haas boss Gunther Steiner.

Steiner notoriously grappled with the frustration of Mick Schumacher's struggles last year until he made the decision to replace the 24-year-old German with his more than decade-older countryman Nico Hulkenberg this year.

"Then you look at Nyck (de Vries), who is not a bad driver," he told Ekstra Bladet newspaper, referring to the rookie Dutchman who has just been dumped by Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

"But he didn't make it. They've brought back 'Danny' (Ricciardo) who didn't deliver what he is capable of last year. He will admit that himself.

"But they brought him back maybe because they saw how it worked for us. Where Formula 1 is right now, potential is a difficult quantity.

"You need to find someone who is really, really good. Take Oscar Piastri. Fair play to him, he is obviously exceptional. But it's getting harder and harder for rookies to get into this sport.

"All the teams are good now. There are no hopeless teams so it's so very important to have good and experienced drivers. And it's even more important at this end of the grid because we are so close together.

"No one can take a rookie for 10 or 15 million anymore. It's not worth it. So it's even more difficult to get new talent from F2 into F1. Because no one dares to take the risk," Steiner added.

"Look at Aston Martin - they took a 41-year-old with a fantastic result. Hopefully it doesn't go too well for AlphaTauri now, but they've done the same as Aston and us."

It means there are no longer any sure-fire routes into Formula 1 from other categories, Steiner argues.

"They need to be extraordinary talents to come from F2 now," he said. "If you've been in Indycar for five years and you're good, you're good. But it's hard to measure how good.

"In F2 and F3 now, even the winner is sometimes not so good if the competition is not good enough."

So as Alex Palou makes waves with a dominant performance in Indycar this year - a title he already conquered in 2021 - Steiner thinks the Spaniard will struggle to convince an F1 team.

"I think Palou is really good," he said. "Wherever he has driven. But someone has to take the risk now.

"Look at Romain Grosjean, who has gone above and beyond over there and hasn't done much. In Formula 1 he was pretty good. So there are too many unknowns.

"Until someone tries it in practice, we won't know. But no one does anymore because it's too risky."

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10 F1 Fan comments on “Experienced Over New Blood: F1 Boss Warns of Rookie Drought

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    Grosjean pretty good in F1? In 2013, yes, & occasionally some other good results, but otherwise, pretty inconsistent.
    Generally, Steiner makes good points about the matter, though.

      • Donalf

        Your right ROR, so the rookies will have to be patient & bide their time or you could have two f1s, one for the rookies & one for the seniors that would keep everyone happy 😊.

          • Flav' P

            Schumi is about my age. I cringed everytime the announcers talked about his being "the old man on the grid" around his mid 30's.

            Why are all so risk averse now? Maybe a Hesketh return would liven it up?

  2. The Spy

    "Because no one dares to take the risk," Steiner added.
    Oscar’s a rookie, it was never a risk to sign him the risk was always that he wouldn’t get a car that would showcase his talents. I’ve said it before on here and will say it again, he will be the number one driver at McLaren once he gains more experience on race day. Norris will not win a world championship in the same car as him.

    Oscar is a very rare talent and will be at Max’s level before too long. I will stick my neck out and say by the end of the year he will be beating Lando, that I’m very confident about.


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