Guenther Steiner is of the view that the upcoming financial changes must have played a key role in Gene Haas continuing in F1 despite the challenges.
Of all the 10 F1 teams, the question mark on the future of Haas was the biggest talking point in the lead-up to the signing of Concorde Agreement, which would bound the teams to a new contract to compete in the sport for until the 2025 season.
Even Romain Grosjean raised some eyebrows when he flagged up about the future of Haas, while answering the question about his own future. Steiner wasn’t pleased with his statement, as the Frenchman was left with a clarification on the same.
But few weeks later, Haas eventually signed the Concorde Agreement to stay in F1 until 2025. In fact, all of the 10 outfits signed within the early signing deadline of August 18. Ahead of this weekend’s Belgium GP, Steiner adds more on the decision taken by Gene.
Interestingly, Steiner did not spill out the conversation he must have had with Gene but used it in a third person conveyance that the American must have looked at the new financial structure’s benefits to sign the agreement to stay on.
“I guess Gene Haas looked at it and Formula One’s still a very good tool for getting his brand name, Haas Automation, out in the world. It works – otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. He loves the sport as well,” said Steiner.
“Even if it is a big financial commitment, with the new regulations coming in, it should make the playing field more even and the commercial aspects better for the smaller teams – so as a result he has decided to continue.
“For me, it means – even at the moment when we’re not running competitively, we’ve got a Formula One team which works, and that’s more down to the team than to me. I’m part of the team though, we all work together, and in the end, Gene believes in the team.
“Everybody is, for sure, happy to be moving forward now with the agreement signed. The budget cap should level the playing field, it will level the playing field – just maybe not in the first year, but in the mid-term for sure.
“The payments, to make it more equal, will also mean the smaller teams get a little more revenue. It’s never enough for the small teams by the way, but it levels the field and that should be the aim of a sport – any day, anybody can win.
“It’ll take a while until that happens but for Formula One it’s a big step in the right direction. Times change and I think Liberty did a great job in adapting to those times and making changes when it was needed.
“It was needed a few years ago, but it’s better late than never,” summed up Steiner. The details of the new agreement, especially on the prize distribution is not out – and wouldn’t be – but multiple reports suggests it to be more fairer for the smaller F1 teams.
The Budget Cap is already known to start at $145 million in 2021 and dip to $135 million in couple of seasons. Meanwhile, on the F1 calendar side, Steiner hopes that they don’t have triple headers and races in close proximity in the coming years.
The Italian reckons the COVID-19 situation required a special situation but now feels that it isn’t as productive on the teams. “We have to treat this as an exceptional year,” said Steiber. “A lot of the staff did not work for much of the first half of the year.
“So they could fill their energy tanks up. So, I think it’s a little bit lighter, but going forward, you cannot make this the normality. People cannot do this. We shouldn’t try to do this because it’s not productive,” summed up Steiner.
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Here’s Guenther Steiner on troubles of Haas and whether Ferrari is the reason