Haas: Due diligence done on surprise title sponsor

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has defended the team's new title sponsorship deal with energy drink brand Rich Energy, insisting the Formula 1 team has done its due diligence.

Haas: Due diligence done on surprise title sponsor

Rich Energy failed in a bid to buy Force India earlier this year, and the drink company's CEO William Storey was in the Austin paddock last weekend.

He held a meeting with Steiner in the paddock on Sunday morning and was also seen in conversation with Williams and McLaren.

Four days later, Haas announced the new title sponsorship deal for 2019 and confirmed its cars would be painted in the company’s black and gold colours.

Scepticism over Rich Energy's ability to fund an F1 team and the speed in which the deal was completed has raised questions over its viability.

Steiner, when asked by Motorsport.com, said: “Your due diligence you don’t do with the person there, there’s some other ways to do that.

“We did what we need to do. We needed to do it before we met him. Why do you doubt that?

“Obviously we did what we needed to do, and our legal advisors were content with that.”

The Rich Energy deal also came as a surprise, because team owner Gene Haas has been content to use the F1 team to promote his own machine tools company and had appeared reluctant to take on high-profile branding from a third party.

Nose cone and front wing detail of the Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-18.

Nose cone and front wing detail of the Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-18.

Photo by: Andy Hone / LAT Images

But Steiner says the time was right for a title partner.

“I think now we are in [F1 for] three years, the Haas F1 name is pretty well established, I think everybody would agree to that.

"Everybody knows what Haas F1 is. At the beginning it wouldn’t have been, if we had another brand in it.

“For one reason or another it’s well-established, the Haas point.

"If a partner comes along which contributes enough that you do something together and it gives you opportunities as well, why not do it? I think it will help the team.”

Steiner said the livery was not finalised but that Haas had "seen some schemes", and would not be drawn on whether Rich Energy would provide "extra" funding or allow the team to scale down its own investment accordingly.

“We are preparing the budgets for next year now, you prepare the budgets now and then we see what we come up with, the investments we want to make next year to go better, and then we see how we split it up," he said.

Haas is also unlikely to expand its team size.

“Even if we employ more people we still work on our principle that we want to be efficient.

“We are well grounded. I think we show that our business model is working quite well. It’s not perfect by any means, we can get better, but we want to grow it where we think we are weak.

“I know the spots where we are weak, we will grow them and make changes, but they will not be that we’re going to run the old style way of having 500 people in two years.”

shares
comments
Wolff fears start chaos due to top speed mismatch
Previous article

Wolff fears start chaos due to top speed mismatch

Next article

Mexican GP: Hamilton champion, Verstappen takes dominant win

Mexican GP: Hamilton champion, Verstappen takes dominant win
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022