For the first time since losing his role as the team principal at Haas F1, Gunther Steiner has publicly spoken out.
Similar to the technical director, Simone Resta, the Italian faced the consequences of his contract not being renewed on December 31st. His departure was unexpectedly abrupt, to the point where Steiner couldn’t even bid farewell to all his former employees.
Today, Steiner harbors some resentment towards the circumstances of his departure and Gene Haas, the owner.
At the ASI24 show in Birmingham, he confirmed receiving a phone call from Gene Haas between Christmas and New Year, informing him that his contract would not be extended beyond the 2023 season.
“It was a phone call; Gene called me and told me he did not want to extend the contract that was expiring at the end of the season, and that was it.”
When asked if it was a surprise, Steiner said, “I don’t know if it was a surprise, it’s always a surprise but in the end, the team is his, he can do what he wants, and it’s his decision.”
Steiner stated he was “no longer interested” in the future of the American team when asked about this abrupt decision.
“Since we’ve had this model, Formula 1 has changed a lot. We saw during COVID how much the situation escalated. How different the situation was with the budget cap, the way we utilized the budget cap.”
“If you look at all the other teams, they were all preparing. They are not preparing right now. They started preparing three years ago, even more, some last year.”
“I am not aware of Gene Haas’s plans for the future. He has not shared them with me, and he is not obliged to. In fact, I am not really interested anymore.”
Regarding his own future plans, Steiner stated he would spend time with his family but emphasized that he still has energy to contribute to a project… if that project has a future. This was a veiled swipe at his former team.
“I don’t know if Formula 1 wants me! For now, I am very relaxed about the situation.”
“I am not unhappy and I know a lot of people, I have many friends, and for me, if I just spend a year stepping back, that will be it for me. If something interesting comes up, something challenging, yes, but staying in Formula 1 just to do a job…”
“I enjoy working with people, but it has to be something that allows me to see a future in it. I don’t just want to come back and then move on to something else. I want to do something where you have the means to realize it, to try to get somewhere. That’s when I will do it.”
“But as I said, for now, I just want to relax. It was 10 hard years behind me. I am still doing well. I have plenty of things to do.”
“It’s also good to stay with family. My daughter is 14 and quite demanding, a real teenager. Trying to manage that seems more difficult than running a Formula 1 team, so I’m going to do that for a few months.”
On Stage Appreciation
It was on the stage of this car show that Steiner took the opportunity to express his gratitude towards his former employees and collaborators.
“I just want to thank all the team members to whom I couldn’t really say goodbye when leaving. I also want to thank all the fans who supported us while I was there. Fantastic! I really appreciate that.”
Steiner then admitted, “It hurts not being able to say goodbye. But they all know me and understand that I always appreciate what they have done. It’s always better to tell them verbally, but it would be nice to say, ‘Hey guys, thanks for everything you did for the team.'”
“It was a very small team often running on adrenaline. They did a good job, and I want to thank them for that. Not being able to say thank you doesn’t make you happy.”
More on today’s Haas news
- AYAO KOMATSU STEPS UP AS HAAS F1 TEAM PRINCIPAL, REPLACING STEINER
- ANALYZING STEINER’S SHOCKING DEPARTURE FROM HAAS F1
- GENE HAAS DETAILS REASONS FOR STEINER’S DISMISSAL
- HAAS F1: COMMITTED, REJECTS SALE TALKS
- AYAO KOMATSU: HAAS F1’S NEW DIRECTOR – AN UNSEEN FORCE?
- HAAS F1: EMBARRASSED BY UNDERUSED FERRARI GEAR
Gunther Steiner Haas F1, Breaks Silence on Unexpected Departure . Gunther Steiner Haas F1, Breaks Silence on Unexpected Departure .
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