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Haas names three candidates to partner Magnussen in 2020

Haas names three candidates to partner Magnussen in 2020
Co-author: Jonathan Noble

Haas Formula 1 team principal Gunther Steiner has named the three main candidates to partner Kevin Magnussen in the outfit's driver line-up for 2020.

Both Magnussen and his current teammate Romain Grosjean have come under fire from Steiner for several clashes this season that have contributed to an overall disappointing campaign for the American outfit so far.

But Magnussen has outscored Grosjean 18 points to eight, and has a contract running through 2020, whereas the Frenchman - who has been with Haas since it joined F1 in 2016 - is a free agent at the end of the year.

Speaking ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix and in the immediate aftermath of Valtteri Bottas' confirmation at Mercedes for 2020, but before Esteban Ocon was confirmed at Renault, Steiner said "the dominoes are starting to fall" in regards to the remaining free seats on next year's grid.

"We're almost there," he said. "It's not a long time until we decide what to do.

"I will spend some time with Gene [Haas, team owner] also this and next week, and that was always our time, Spa-Monza, when we spend quite a bit of time together too and then the team decides what to do."

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Having indicated that Magnussen's 2020 contract will be honoured, Steiner named Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg and Mercedes protege Ocon as two drivers who were being considered by Haas alongside incumbent Grosjean for the other seat.

"There's not many drivers - I always said to you, we always said that our dream was always to have a driver with experience, so for sure there's interest [in Hulkenberg].

"There's interest in Ocon, I always said that they are the two. And there's interest for Romain as well. So we just need to decide who we go with."

Renault's confirmation of Ocon for 2020 leaves Hulkenberg needing to find a new drive after three years with the French manufacturer.

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