Haas’ Guenther Steiner Feels Fielding A Third Car Will ‘Confuse’ Fans

Haas F1 - Three Cars - German GP
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner believes the idea of introducing a third car into Formula 1 would make it difficult for fans to understand.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport boss Toto Wolff spoke about wanting to introduce a third car to the teams, being a cheaper solution to fielding more drivers than forming a new team or buying an existing team.

The talks over a third car were in response on the situation relating to Mercedes junior drivers Esteban Ocon and George Russell, who both are searching for a drive in F1 next year.

The paddock gave mixed reactions over the idea with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner saying the idea is ‘interesting but inpracticle’. Lewis Hamilton says he likes the idea but would prefer it if more teams entered the sport.

Haas boss Guenther Steiner doesn’t agree with the idea of introducing a third car, saying it would confuse fans and that the sport needs to come up with a different idea.

“I’m not in agreement with a third car because it could confuse the whole picture,” said Steiner.

“It would be very difficult to understand for the fans and new spectators that sometimes a third car could run. It would distort the actual championship, in my opinion. I think we need to sit back and come up with a better idea.

“As it stands, we have no interest to field a third car. If somebody comes up and pays for it, yes we can consider it. Until that happens, there is no thinking about a third car for us.”

At the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, F1 introduced the first images of their vision of what the 2021 F1 cars will look like, with multiple concept designs presented in a bid to improve the show.

The sport is also looking to introduce a budget cap in to help smaller teams bridge the gap to the front and increase their chances of success. But Steiner feels that the concept designs for 2021 will not help smaller teams due to the big teams having more access to resources and money.

“The gap can just be bridged with a budget cap. Whatever we design, that will not bridge the gap,” Steiner continued.

Whatever design you propose, people with more resources and more money can just do more work, and more is better in the end. It will not bring the field together.”

The American team left the Singapore Grand Prix disappointed after both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished outside of the points, whilst their rivals Renault Sport Formula One Team and McLaren F1 Team scored in the midfield battle.

With Haas competing for fourth place in the constructors’ championship with Renault, Steiner says the battle is becoming ‘very tense’ between the French team after they filed a protest due to an illegal floor from the Italian Grand Prix.

“As we all know, Renault filed a protest against us to take some points away, which we’ve appealed. That gives you a good indication of how tense the battle is,” Steiner added.

“The other teams are trying to get as many points as possible. Alonso did very well in Singapore to catch up. Force India, like us, didn’t score, so it’s all open.”

With the Russian Grand Prix next as F1 heads into the final races, Steiner feels confident that Haas can do well in Russia at the Sochi Autodrom.

“I wouldn’t say that Singapore was bad for the car. Obviously, we qualified eighth and 16th. Sixteenth is not ideal, but sometimes this can happen, and eighth is not a bad result.

“The race went how it went. It was mainly down to the hypersofts, which we had to start Romain on. Then we got caught in traffic and overtaking was very difficult. I’m pretty confident we can do well in Sochi – what we have been doing up to now in the season.”