Guenther Steiner is not frustrated with the latest remarks around partnership of Haas and Ferrari made by several F1 team bosses.

Its been a great start to the season for the Haas team after a massively disappointing 2021 campaign. Their performance at Bahrain was first class and a good drive too followed up at Saudi Arabia. A drop in performance followed in Australia but the team are still massively improved from last year.

Of course, they concentrated on their 2022 car, sacrificing in part the 2021 season but it has paid dividends. However, what has also possibly helped them is the Haas-Ferrari partnership where some members of Ferrari are working for the Anglo-American team and Haas have also used some Ferrari parts.

This is not the first time that their relationship has been questioned by their F1 rivals and co-incidently the topic is once again in the news just when Haas has started doing well. But its team chief Steiner is not frustrated by those comments and further notes that McLaren chief Andreas Seidl is not running the FIA to come to a conclusion.

“It is not even frustrating it’s just like again the same,” said Steiner when asked by if he is frustrated with the topic. “I don’t get frustrated anymore, I just get used to it so it’s normal. Andreas doesn’t run the FIA unfortunately, so he can suggest it but there is a governance in place which will define it as much as he wants to run it.

“There is sometimes things in the rules that don’t work but you can’t go and change it. Mercedes was winning the world championship for eight years in a row with a very strong engine and good luck to them that they did a good job but nobody said we now need to change the engine rule because Mercedes is winning everything.

“It’s just there us governance in place which certain people thing they can change everything by just speaking. I don’t think that is going to happen,” summed up Steiner. Maybe a touch of jealousy or perhaps not but the fact remains that some teams have contacted the FIA regarding the matter seeking more information as there is suspicions and raised eyebrows.

Here’s what the F1 team bosses said:

Wolff: “I mean, Haas has made a huge jump from being last, the way they were into being… having been solid and into Q3, I think, in Bahrain. So that’s an interesting step. For us, it’s a learning exercise, because as an organisation, we have 2000 people and we’ve been successful in the past, and suddenly you’re fighting a team that’s much smaller in size. So, they must have done a super job.

Vasseur: “It’s a good question. It’s like the old and new regulations about financial, for example, that the most important is to be able to control everything, that we have restrictions on the wind tunnel, we have a restriction on the budget. But we have to trust the FIA, they are doing a good job. And for sure, there will be on every single case.

Szafnauer: “It’s a small team that’s done well over the winter, from last to sometimes third fastest team. And it’s a bit surprising. I thought – although Toto didn’t – that the pecking order would stay almost the same because generally, in a big regulation change, over the years that I’ve been in Formula 1, the bigger the regulation change, the more it favours those with knowhow and the infrastructure and the tools to actually exploit the new rules. So, it’s a bit surprising that the Haas are where they are for a small team – but I trust the FIA will investigate and come to the right conclusion between how similar the two cars are.

Regulations, listed and non listed parts, restrictions –

Wolff: “I think it needs reform, because we want to avoid these kinds of discussions that we have now, the polemic around the last few days or last few weeks, everybody deserves to perform well, and people should get credit when they’ve done a good job. But some of the job-hopping or entity-hopping on the same premises is just creating arguments that are not necessary for the sport.

“So definitely for us, we have Aston Martin in the wind tunnel that we had two years ago. Quite a shitstorm about that. We have been handling them with the utmost diligence. But going forward, if we were to need to compromise our, let’s say, income ability, we need to do this, because none of the teams should be able to cooperate in a way that we’re seeing today, with some of the teams.

Vasseur: “I’m not sure that we have to change the regulation, it’s exactly the same story on the financial one also that we have to apply the rule. And the rule is strict enough to make it fair that at the end of the day, that the financial regulation, a good example, you just have to stick to the rule. And if you stick to the rule, it’s more than OK. And it’s why I think that we are trusting the FIA, because they have to do the job of the regulator and they are doing it, they are on it. And for me, it’s OK like this.

Szafnauer: “I tend to agree with Fred, in an ideal world, the rules are pretty clear. And the difficulty is policing. So if the policing of the rules is impossible, then I think we should change the rules that are able to be policed such that the playing field is even. So I think there’s more discussion to be had with the FIA, and perhaps a bit of reform on the rules such that they can be policed.

Tost: “We have a regulation and this regulation is quite good. If the FIA controls everything, and this is what they do, I don’t think it’s necessary to make a regulation change. For me, it’s a good way to work together with another team because we did it in the past, for example, to design our own gearbox. We had our own wind tunnel and for me, this is a waste of money. If you can work together with another team to use these synergies and to go into the direction that every team has now has to have his own wind tunnel, in my eyes, it’s absolutely a waste of money, and also not balanced with the sustainability. Because we must also think into this direction.

“A wind tunnel needs a lot of energy, just for a limited number of hours you are allowed to be in there. I can only talk now from Scuderia Alpha Tauri side. We respect to 100% the rules. We share a wind tunnel with Red Bull Technology but there is absolutely no exchange from technique information. Nothing. We are there three days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and other days Red Bull Racing is in there. And that’s it. We respect the rules. And if someone thinks that is not the case, then they should send us the FIA, no problem, we can prove that we respect everything.

Horner: “Yes, well, as you heard from Franz, we are effectively his landlord, and he gets all the preferable days for his wind tunnel testing, but I think it makes logical sense with a wind tunnel to share the asset. I think many… you know, pretty much every team on the grid does that now and I think it’s a very tricky one because when you look at personnel, I mean, the big teams have had to downsize, so in our own team, we’ve probably had to, unfortunately, say goodbye to close to 100 people in order to meet the budget cap and of course, what the FIA don’t have the ability to do is to tell where somebody should or shouldn’t work. You end up in all kinds of employment issues and tribunals with that.

“So it would only be natural as we have to say goodbye to some very long serving staff within the group to, for example, mention to Franz that there’s some technical staff that we’re going to have to say goodbye to; would you be interested so, inevitably that has happened and I think the teams have had to readjust and rescale, to cut their cloth to suit the budget cap scenario. Now, what doesn’t happen in that scenario is the transfer of any IP which would obviously be a total breach of the regulations. Now that happens whether engineers, technicians moved from team to any team in the pit line. They can only take what with them what they have in their head, not on a on a piece of paper or any physical data or IP.

“So it’s a tricky one, obviously for the FIA to police, but I think that the balance that we have is actually reasonably sensible. I think the question that Franz raised about the pertinence of wind tunnels longer term, we’ve raised, that we’ve discussed that and unfortunately, that’s been rejected, that the feeling is that tunnels are part of the future of Formula 1 whereas personally, I would have liked to see more of an emphasis go on to CFD and some of the emerging simulation tools that we see very much the future but no issues with the current regulations, certainly regarding personnel.”

Seidl: “Yeah, before I answer, just want to make it crystal clear that our view is not depending on our current sporting situation, or the sporting situation of a team like us, for example. It’s a matter of principle for us since many, many years. And it’s clear for us that Formula 1 should be a championship of 10 constructors, or 11 or 12, which means there should be no transfer happening of any IP which is related to core performance. For us, it’s clear Formula 1… the maximum that should be allowed to share is the power units and the gearbox internals.

“That’s it, there should be no sharing of any infrastructure and so on, because as soon as you allow that, IP transfer is happening on the car side and we know also from FIA, as Christian also said it’s difficult to police and if something is not possible to police, you need to ban it. And for two reasons: because it makes B teams overly competitive compared to teams like us and at the same time, there’s the A teams also benefiting from this which is even more worrying for us. And we just hope with all the dialogue which is happening also with F1, with the FIA between several teams also, that we finally see some action in the next years in order to correct this situation.”

The success of Haas this season is pleasing to see if somewhat surprising but as per the top, but they did concentrate on 2022 with the new regulations in mind. Even though the grid is slightly mixed up at the moment, Haas is not at the sharp end at the moment. Also, for now their target was to move towards the middle of the pecking order which they have done to start the season.

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