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Steiner Critiques Andretti's F1 Strategy

Andretti’s Public F1 Bid a ‘Big Mistake’

01/06/2024

Günther Steiner, ex-Haas F1 boss, criticises Andretti’s public approach in their F1 bid, emphasising the importance of gaining private support first.

While Michael Andretti still hopes to get a chance to enter his own team in Formula 1, former Haas F1 team principal Günther Steiner is well aware of the challenges of such an endeavour.

Steiner managed to secure an entry for Haas in 2014, before their debut in 2016, and he claims that the Andretti family made a big mistake in their approach.

“The first approach of the Andretti was public, and that’s the big mistake in my opinion. When you want to participate in something, you don’t go into details or have conflicts in public. You first reach an agreement, meet people, dine with the group, because ultimately, he wants to join a club. It’s not the club that wants him to join, and I think that needs to be respected.”

Steiner knows a lot about obtaining a licence from F1 after securing a place in the sport for the American team in 2014. Steiner recalled how much preparatory work it takes to enter the sport.

“You don’t know how much preparatory work I did before obtaining a licence, before they said yes. You know, there were phone calls to everyone and their sons, their nephews, you know, just trying to get there, explaining to people what the idea was behind it, and without being pushy, just explaining what I was working on, what we were working on to get there.”

Ultimately, the decision to let Haas enter F1 proved to be a success, but no one could have predicted it, as Steiner explains.

“It was good also because it was a good story, we didn’t fail, I didn’t fail, it’s exactly what succeeded, so I didn’t let anyone down, and you have to tell people that. You need to reassure the supporters you’ve had that they’ve done you a favour and that you haven’t let them down with a shaky project.”

“Stefano Domenicali was at the time the team principal of Ferrari. We got the engine from Ferrari, which eventually made money out of it. An American team was good for them, and we kept our promises from the first race, so in the end, I didn’t betray anyone, everyone was happy.”

Steiner believes the FOM is simply protecting the wellbeing of the 10 current teams by blocking Andretti’s application.

“We’ve all been through tough times when it was hard to have 10 teams on the grid because there wasn’t enough money for everyone. I think F1 is simply protecting the wellbeing of the 10 existing teams. That’s how I see it.”

“F1 hasn’t closed the doors to Andretti; they’ve talked about 2028, when GM will be ready with its Cadillac engine. The door isn’t closed, they’ve left it open, they haven’t locked it. So I think sometimes you need to be patient. When I was looking for an investor to set up my team, it took me three years to find someone (Haas).”

“You keep lobbying, you keep trying to do your best, and you get there. And that’s maybe what they need to do right now.”

Steiner Critiques Andretti’s F1 Strategy. Steiner Critiques Andretti’s F1 Strategy

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