Although they have not yet officially confirmed that Mick Schumacher will not continue, team boss Gunther Steiner has been talking to other candidates in recent weeks.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who did FP1 of the recent Italian GP with the team, is one of the candidates for the seat that the German will leave.
That is the preferred option of Haas ‘ racing partner Ferrari, although Steiner says the Italian firm has nothing to say on the matter and can only make recommendations.
Hulkenberg , who contested the first two races of the season as a reserve driver for Aston Martin, is also on Alpine’s shortlist.
The German was a driver for the Enstone team in 2017 and 2018, and is well known to team principal Otmar Szafnauer from his time at Force India and Racing Point. However, multiple sources suggest Formula 2 driver Jack Doohan has a better chance of going to Alpine if the Pierre Gasly option fails.
Steiner admitted that Hulkenberg is one of Haas’s candidates, but insisted he is one of many drivers they are looking at.
“Everyone who has the super license is on the list,” he told Motorsport.com. “I think he is a candidate like all the others, because he has a super license, he has done F1, he has experience.
“I want to say that there is no one who is racing now that you can sign if you want to change drivers. We just have to see what is the best decision.”
Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22
Giovinazzi had a strong showing in FP1 at Monza, having warmed up last year’s Ferrari at Fiorano a few days earlier.
He finished the session just three tenths off the starting driver Kevin Magnussen despite a mistake on his best lap.
Giovinazzi will contest another FP1 in Austin, but Steiner continues to downplay those sessions, confirming they were arranged as a favor to Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto , who wanted his reserve to rack up mileage.
“People think about it too much,” Steiner said of Giovinazzi. “It was more that Ferrari asked us to shoot their reserve driver, it wasn’t like ‘now we have to test him and draw a conclusion from this.’
“He did a very good job, I had never driven the car with the current regulations. It started immediately, it was very good.
“It’s good to see that the car is going well, because if someone who has been out for a year makes these times, the car shouldn’t be so bad.”
Giovinazzi has made it clear that he wants to return to the grid in 2023.
“We have seen that this year we have had a very busy silly season with the driver market, and I don’t know what will happen,” said the Italian.
“I want to be here next year, it’s clear, it’s no secret, but it’s not in my hands. So let’s see what we can do, and for now I focus on doing a great job in these sessions. One already I’ve done, now we have another one”.
Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi remains another contender for the 2023 seat, with some sources indicating he could be tied to a sponsorship deal.
The team has not yet used any of its Free Practice 1 sessions for rookies, and the Brazilian – who contested the last two races of the 2020 season – is still qualified to do them, so he will be the one chosen to complete those training sessions at required by the FIA.