Guenther Steiner says Haas is not looking to change its business model despite the recent Racing Point furor as F1 teams discuss Concorde Agreement.
Out of all the 10 F1 teams, the future of Haas was the only one questioned more often than others but Gene eventually signed it, looking at a better financial position and prize distribution along with the global marketing value it brings.
Steiner elaborated on how he had to get through Gene in the days leading to the signing, as he added that the current business model of Haas wouldn’t change due to the new agreement and also post the Racing Point dramas.
“That is what Haas will be doing, we will not change anything,” said Steiner. “Now it will be also my opinion, not the right time to do it when the budget cap comes in place. This model was set up to be more efficient. We just need to refine a little bit and get a little bit more out of it but otherwise the model works.
“We know that it works in 2018 we lost a little bit of performance in 2019 and this year, it’s just a difficult year in general because with the pandemic and what happened so we just need to go through this rough patch maybe this year and a little bit next year and then look forward to the new regulations that comes in 2022 and get going again then properly.
“For Haas, the Racing Point case result is not critical because we never did what they did. It was decided that smaller team can buy parts from bigger teams and just not copy aerodynamics and that hopefully will be clarified soon, what you can do and what not, but we are not doing it or we didn’t do it anyway. So, I’m not worried about that.”
Adding more about Gene, Steiner said Haas didn’t need to be convinced as such because he would convince himself and that the budget cap and a better prize distribution certainly helped them to stay back – something which was common across the F1 grid.
What has also been said about the new Concorde Agreement is a potential annual review clause where teams could opt out on certain grounds before the five-year tenure. It is not clear what they are, as the F1 teams kept that part of information under wraps due to the confidentiality and swayed the topic.
Here’s what they said:
Christian Horner: “The agreement is strictly confidential between the teams and the commercial rights holder, so I’m not going to divulge any of the information within that agreement. But I think that previously parent company guarantees have had to be provided which hasn’t been the case in this agreement, so it obviously makes it a lot more tenable in certain areas. It’s, as I say, important to see the agreement as a collaboration that we all work for the benefit of F1 to make sure that the product improves, that the racing improves and as a result the stakeholders, the fans, get a better product out of it.”
Steiner: “The teams are pretty big, even with the budget cap, the teams will be still big and you cannot plan just months ahead because then you will never be successful. The practical issue of it is that, even if there is a theoretical out, you can do it but you cannot plan for it. Because if you plan for that one, you will not be successful and you will just be wasting your time and money by going year-by-year. So, I think it’s as good as it gets and I think most of the teams see it as a five-year agreement, not with the intention to stop it any earlier.”
Frederic Vasseur: “This kind of agreement, with ten teams around the table, the FIA and FOM, it’s never easy to sign. I think everybody did compromise and finally I think we found a deal with a good step forward for everybody and OK, we always want to get more and every single team would like to get a different position but at the end I think it’s a very good step forward for us and when I say us, it’s everybody around the table and it is like it is.
Franz Tost: “I must say that all the negotiations for this new Concorde Agreement were much more transparent than in the years before. I must also say that the top teams, at the end, agreed to lose some money because it’s not so easy for them. We must not forget that they have built up a fantastic infrastructure the last years and they will also lose some people and I think in the sense that for the future of Formula One all the teams were sitting together, negotiating together which was not always the case in the past and therefore I think we now have a really good basis for the future of F1.”
On prize distribution situation:
Steiner: “I think it is a difficult answer, because the F1 prize money is divided by your position you finish, so if I say it’s equal it isn’t right to say that. The rest of it is like everything has got a value and I think it is as equal as it can be for the show we are putting on. For sure, the smaller teams will be never happy until they get more and it gets ‘inequal’ in their favour. As far as going into details, I don’t want to here, of the commercial agreement, it’s between the parties.
“But I think it was made a big step from the last one to this one. To make 10 people completely happy, which are structured different between the 10 of us, is almost impossible, so I think it was a good step made in that direction and I guess everybody was happy, because everybody signed it. Because if somebody wasn’t happy, they wouldn’t have signed it.”
Horner: “I think it’s a fair agreement. If people didn’t like it, they wouldn’t have signed it. I think that everybody is treated equally. I’m sure in your world, all journalists should be the same as well. So, the details of the content of the agreement is going to remain confidential between the parties and that’s the way it will remain.”
Tost: “I must say that we are really satisfied that the Concorde Agreement is signed now. Good job done by the teams and also the FOM and the FIA, because it was not so easy. It was long negotiations. We from the midfield teams, especially AlphaTauri, now are really happy that this Concorde Agreement is signed because the money distribution is much better nowadays than it was in the past and I think in combination with the cost cap and the much fairer money distribution the field will come much closer together, which should guarantee interesting races.”
Here’s FIA on Spa crash
Here’s Guenther Steiner on Haas signing it
Here’s Williams being hurt by last Concorde Agreement