Haas F1 stay "almost impossible" without cost cap

Gunther Steiner thinks it would have been 'almost impossible' for team owner Gene Haas to have stayed in F1 unless there had been a radical shake-up of the sport's finances.

Haas F1 stay "almost impossible" without cost cap

Following months of uncertainty about the future of the American-owned outfit, with Haas admitting he was unsure about whether or not he would remain in F1, the team last week announced that it had signed up to the new Concorde Agreement.

That effectively means Haas is committed to stay in grand prix racing for the next five years.

Steiner is convinced, however, that without the radical cost cuts being planned for F1, including a budget cap, allied to a more equal share of the sport's prize money for all teams, the outcome could have been very different.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he felt he could have convinced Haas to stay without the changes to the sport's finances, Steiner said: "I would say it would have been a lot more difficult and almost impossible if there wouldn't have been the chance to be competitive, and also that the spend would not increasingly go up.

"For sure, having more income helps always because the gap between what you can spend and what you get is smaller. So, I think without these two changes, it would have been very, very difficult that Haas would be around for the future."

Ultimately, Steiner thinks the key factor speaking in F1's favour was the huge marketing exposure the sport gives Haas' business.

"I think the main thing is he sat back and saw F1 is, marketing wise globally as a tool, very powerful. And for him thinking about what it did over the last five years, for sure it was beneficial to his company, for Haas Automation. That was the main reason.

"And then, for sure, all the other things like the Concorde Agreement and more equal payouts and the budget cup, that worked as well to convince him that this is a place to stay.

"I think without the alignment or the semi alignment of the payouts to the smaller teams and the big ones, and the cost cap, without that one, I'm really convinced he wouldn't have signed up for it because it's just so difficult to catch up."

While Haas was open that he was weighing up whether or not to stay in F1, Steiner said he was never worried that his boss would decide to pull out.

"Worried is a big word," he said. "I was more focusing to give him solutions for what he was looking for, and negotiate solutions, so that somebody like Mr Haas is convinced F1 is still a good investment. That's what I was doing.

"I wasn't worrying. I was working hard because if you start to worry you make emotional decisions, and they are normally wrong. So it was keeping in touch with him, explaining how we should be doing it, and talking with him and talking it through and getting his input.

"He has got some good ideas, so it was just trying to find ways to get them within the Concorde Agreement, and we did that with the financial agreements. So that's what we did.

"Therefore I was never worried. It was more like how can we make this work, because if it doesn't work, then he wouldn't do it? If it doesn't work for him as a marketing tool, why would he do it? That was my job.

"So the worry was actually not big, I was just working hard and trying to do my best that he continues."

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas in "good spirits" over 2020 F1 title fight

Previous article

Bottas in "good spirits" over 2020 F1 title fight

Next article

Verstappen: Red Bull "definitely overachieved" in 2020

Verstappen: Red Bull "definitely overachieved" in 2020
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021