Steiner: Freight delays could derail a GP weekend

Jon Wilde
Haas nose cones for Mick Schumacher's car. Melbourne April 2022.

Haas nose cones for Mick Schumacher's car stacked in the Australian Grand Prix pit lane. Melbourne April 2022.

Guenther Steiner has expressed fears that freight delays could disrupt the schedule of a grand prix weekend.

Haas, the team managed by Steiner, have twice been affected by the late arrival of freight at race circuits within the last five months.

The first occasion was at the Brazilian Grand Prix last November when Haas’ engines went “missing” en route from the previous race in Mexico and they were not the only constructor affected that time, with McLaren also having their prep delayed to the scale of 36 hours.

Then for this season’s official testing in Bahrain, there was another issue for Haas that caused them to have to miss the first morning’s running – with drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher eventually allowed extra track time at the end of sessions to make up for it.

Another instance has now arisen at the Australian Grand Prix but was fortunately narrowly averted, thanks to the intervention of Formula 1’s logistics partner DHL.

But with current global events not making life easier from a transportation perspective, Steiner, on his 57th birthday, said he is concerned a Formula 1 race weekend could be impacted at some point if freight is badly held up.

“I think F1 takes it seriously, but it’s one of those scenarios you cannot really control,” said Steiner, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“We all know it’s difficult now, especially with the invasion of Ukraine. I think there’s a lot of cargo planes out of service now because of the sanctions to Russian companies, because they were running or flying a lot of the cargo planes.

“So it’s not getting any easier. And also the ships, we now know there are difficulties there.

“But it’s one of those things that are just out of [your] control. As long as you don’t get your own planes, you are always counting on other people to help you out.

“Hopefully we can get through it and put a lot of effort in. I think in the moment, nobody has a guarantee of anything getting to the right place at the right time.”

 

Steiner said he felt the vastly increased cost of transporting freight should be factored in to the future levels of the F1 budget cap.

“It’s going up, and every time we speak about it, it’s getting higher,” added the Haas team principal.

“At some stage we need to get into real numbers, and obviously these things you just have to manage as they come along.

“Everybody is faced with the same issue, so I think it’s a problem for everybody.

“At the end, nobody has a disadvantage as long as everybody gets an increase and which everybody does.

“You just have to deal with it and then see how you can navigate to get to the end of the season with the budget intact and where you want it to be.”

 

Last-minute rescue mission prevents F1 freight crisis

F1's official freight partner DHL saved the day last weekend by rescuing the shipments of three teams that were doomed to not make it to Australia in time for the GP.