Haas F1 Team’s Team Principal Guenther Steiner believes that despite financial concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American outfit is “here to stay” in Formula 1.
The pandemic has forced either the cancellation or postponement of the first nine Grands Prix of the season, causing financial struggles for the entire grid, and for a smaller team like Haas, it is even more detrimental having a small budget to begin with.
This stretch of cancelled races was also a period of time that team owner Gene Haas planned on using to assess the long term longevity of the team after an abysmal 2019 campaign, where the team finished ninth place in the constructors championship.
As a guest on Sky F1’s Vodcast, Steiner said he believes: “We are here to stay.”
“For sure we have to see out this scenario but if we can get in what the plan is now [18 races], we are good for the year.
“I’m in touch with Gene almost every day, he wants to be involved with what is happening, and he seems to be in a good place.
“We just need to be diligent. The budget cap, all this brings the teams together and being competitive will help. So I think we are here to stay.
“If we find solutions for the mid and long-term [then Gene Haas] is happy,” he added.
“We need to come up with solutions which I think we are. If we do he wants to keep on going racing.
Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen echoed the same sentiment in May, telling Danish newspaper BT that he believes the incoming budget cap will help keep Haas competitive.
While sharing the Danish driver’s confidence in the team moving forward, Steiner knows that the upcoming rule changes and shortened season ahead will have a great influence on Haas and the future of the program.
“He’s happy to wait longer, but like any businessman, you’re not happy to wait forever,” Steiner told Formula1.com in April.
“There is no one to be blame, it’s just the circumstances. At the moment, he can stay calm but at some stage he needs to make a decision.
“But at the moment he wants to see it through. We have furloughed people, and we didn’t let them go.
“It’s one of those things, we just need to make sure we make the right decisions in the future, which keeps him interested into the sport.”
With the new condensed season schedule just released, Steiner said the team is ready to go for whatever this season will throw at them.
“We can cope with it. It’ll be challenging for our people, but a challenge is an opportunity. Hopefully we can do well,” Steiner said to Formula1.com in April, before the schedule was released.
“It won’t be easy but it won’t be easy for anybody. We will do the best we can and hopefully we will do a better job than others do with more people.”