Haas tout three drivers in biggest hint yet at 2020 line-up change

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Haas chief Guenther Steiner has weighed up the possibility of three drivers joining the team in 2020.

As the grid for next season starts to take shape, the American outfit is thought to have at least one seat available with Romain Grosjean under threat after another sub-par year.

Whereas most teams would tend to downplay such claims, Steiner appeared to concede that maybe it is time to look at alternatives, with the Frenchman being a part of Haas since they started in 2016.

“It’s a time to take a bigger risk if you have less to lose,” he told the official F1 website.

"Every situation is different. You need to move accordingly. It could be anything, I don’t want to jump to a conclusion, just because we did it once, this is how we are now doing it for the rest of our life.”

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After Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen took each other out of the race in a difficult weekend at Silverstone, it was suggested that Esteban Ocon was being considered as an immediate replacement for Romain.

Obviously, that didn't happen, and while Ocon is now being strongly linked to Mercedes, the Haas chief concedes he would be a strong candidate for a seat.

“I think with one year out, it drops the stock obviously, because you are one year out of sight, out of mind, but then again, [Ocon] was very good the last years he raced, he did a good job," he explained.

“After two years, it’s getting difficult that somebody gets a second chance, but look at [Daniil] Kvyat, he was out a year and he came back, and he’s pretty strong. You always look at what happens, and you always take a risk with any driver, except if you take somebody who is there for a long time.”

Perhaps the highest-profile name is Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Steiner admits signing the German would be a tougher task for Haas.

“I think he has a contract at [Renault], I’m not sure what is happening but that would be quite explosive, eh!?” he joked. “As I said, we haven’t… it’s not just me, it’s also Mr [Gene] Haas.

“We can’t afford all the drivers who are on the market, it’s purely exploratory… I don’t know who said it, but nobody has done anything. It’s talking the talk, but no one is walking. It’s just talking.”

In a season though where Haas has struggled for results and race pace despite a strong car in qualifying, the team boss was keen to point out that the American squad continues to hold appeal.

“People are still interested in driving here because they see as a team, we are not weak,” he stated

"You always meet adversity in racing, but I think people see the hard work we put into finding solutions.

"We have had a number of challenges but we are a team that can grow even though we are going through a difficult period."