Guenther Steiner has hinted there may be a contract clause preventing him from a quick return to the Formula 1 paddock.
The nature of Steiner’s departure was a little different from others in that he was not technically fired, rather his contract was not extended.
What that does mean is he is not bound to any gardening leave periods we have seen recently with the likes of Mattia Binotto but there may be another condition preventing a swift return to F1.
Guenther Steiner rules out Red Bull return
While Steiner is free of gardening leave, it is rumoured he is under an anti-competition arrangement which would block him from joining another competitor.
While not confirmed by Steiner, his one word answer of “no” when asked if he would return to Red Bull if offered a job this week was a hint that something was preventing him, whether that be contractual or a desire to have some time away from the sport.
In an interview with Autosport, Steiner said he was “chilled” about his future, suggesting he was in no rush to make a decision.
“In the end,” he said, “the contract was up and for me it’s like it always was: ‘if it doesn’t work, just let me know’. I’m not hung on anything. Gene Haas owns the team and obviously has got the right to decide what he wants to do. Simple as this. If he doesn’t want me around, I’m not [around]. That’s alright, let’s move on. I’m not running and in a rush for the next job – I’m chilled.”
As to what caused his Haas downfall, Steiner believes it was their run of poor results at the end of the 2023 campaign.
“I think because the performance went down, obviously nobody is happy,” he said. “There is nobody more unhappy than me. But we were faced with a situation that we couldn’t recover this year  and the aim was to do something for racing for 2024.
“I wouldn’t say it [his relationship with Gene Haas] went downhill. It was just like, we tried to work hard – that you do your best – but you know obviously the performance wasn’t good enough and then change needed to be made. That was [what] Gene Haas thought about it.”