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Steiner Critiques Haas Strategy F1

Steiner Critiques Haas F1’s Strategy Post-Departure

14/01/2024

Gunther Steiner, now free from Haas F1, criticizes the team’s approach and challenges owner Gene Haas’s decisions. He reflects on the team’s direction and his own role in its past successes.

Now free to speak his mind, Gunther Steiner does not mince words towards the Haas F1 team he has just left, and points the finger at Gene Haas for his responsibilities after the American described the team’s results over the past three years as “embarrassing.”

Steiner Doubts Haas’s Strategy

To start, Steiner openly questions whether Haas’s model of buying as many components as possible to compete was the right path in the current era. He knows the answer but suggests he didn’t have a say in recent years…

“I don’t know if the approach will change or not, but it’s no longer my problem. The model we had in Formula 1, 10 years ago when we started – is no longer really suitable because it has changed a lot.”

“Formula 1 has become much bigger and more competitive, the budget cap and how it’s used have changed everything. While other teams have been preparing in recent years, Haas hasn’t changed anything. So, everyone has become stronger, investing heavily in the future, as Formula 1 is on a very good track at the moment.”

“That’s what it takes to stay competitive. So, I don’t know Gene Haas’s plans for the future. He didn’t share them with me. But, on the other hand, I see where others are going.”

“The model with which we started at the beginning, I think it was a very good model. But maybe that doesn’t matter after a certain time. But who am I today to say that?”

“You need to invest outside the cost cap to make the most of the operational cost cap. I wouldn’t say it’s very complex, but you really have to think about how to operate with the money within the cap: how can you make the best use of it to make the car go faster?”

“It’s usually because you invest in something to do that, and it has to be done. I think a lot of people understood this a year ago and started investing in how to be efficient in spending money on capital investments, and then on operations to be more efficient.”

Steiner Addresses Haas’s Criticism

Steiner also responded to Gene Haas’s remarks about being embarrassed by the team’s results, with the American saying that “no one on the team was proud of finishing last in the championship again,” especially with a partner like Ferrari.

“If he feels that way, that’s his feeling and he can say it. Obviously, no one on the team is proud to be 10th, I agree on that. We didn’t have a good season in 2023, we all know that.”

“But in my opinion, when you’re down, it’s not about how you fall but how you get back up. That’s just my life philosophy and that’s what you need to think about: not being embarrassed by anything, but to keep going and improve things.”

Regarding the use of the word “embarrassing,” Steiner issues a kind of warning to his former boss.

“I think everyone can choose their words, but you have to think about the people who work for you and put in a lot of effort. Obviously, when you say these things, in the end, you have to live with the consequences.”

So, when asked if he had any advice for his former employees, he added: “I would tell the team: keep working. There are a lot of good people there. Just keep your head down and keep digging. They’ll get there.”

Steiner Credits Haas F1 Survival

Steiner also takes credit for ensuring the team’s survival in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, I think without me, it wouldn’t have existed anymore in 2020. But Gene Haas owns the team, so ultimately, he’s free to do what he wants. I can’t blame him for anything. I could blame him, but it doesn’t matter because he can make his own decisions, he’s free to decide. Actually, I’m fine, my life will go on, I’m going to have fun. A good period of my life has ended, maybe another one will come.”

Steiner also admitted to being touched by Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who paid tribute to their former boss on social media.

“It was very kind of them to do that – obviously, I would never ask for anything. They’ve endured my temperament! It’s not just the drivers with whom you don’t always agree – there’s much more than the two drivers who don’t always agree with me. But that’s part of me, you know, but it was very cool. The two guys, I have a very good relationship with them. When they posted that, it was nice!”

Steiner Critiques Haas Strategy F1 Steiner Critiques Haas Strategy F1. Steiner Critiques Haas Strategy F1

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