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 long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021