Guenther Steiner has pinpointed a lack of long-term investment as a reason that it was “difficult to stay motivated” at the top of Haas.
Haas utilised a close relationship with Ferrari to purchase transferrable parts from the Scuderia under FIA regulations, with the team setting up a base at Maranello to encourage close working relations, but other midfield teams have since taken big steps forward beyond Haas.
The American team finished bottom of the Constructors’ Championship last season and Steiner’s contract as team principal was not renewed, owner Gene Haas citing a need for improved performance as a reason behind it, with trackside engineering director Ayao Komatsu promoted into the top job.
Guenther Steiner cites lack of long-term investment behind Haas motivation drop
While making it clear that “I was not saying I want to leave, put it this way”, Steiner has now found himself out of a job after being the third-longest serving team principal on the Formula 1 grid.
He also explained there was no fall-out with team owner Gene Haas, Steiner reasoning that his departure is “his decision and he can do what he wants”, but the now-former team boss explained that a potential lack of long-term investment made it difficult to keep the same level of motivation.
With the likes of Aston Martin opening an all-new factory last year, Williams spending heavily on infrastructure and AlphaTauri [now Visa Cash App RB] building a closer relationship with Red Bull, the field is getting closer than ever.
Steiner did not see the same kind of move happening at Haas however, explaining that the model currently in place of taking what Ferrari parts are available may no longer be the most “efficient”.
“I’ve never been in a company this long as I was in Haas F1, think about that – at some stage [the long-term future gets considered],” Steiner told Autosport.
“You know, doing more of the same and seeing what other people do to move forwards. Like all the other teams – like AlphaTauri, Aston Martin – you see where they are going and you cannot go with them, it’s difficult to stay motivated.
“You always try because you never give up. You try – but at some stage obviously it becomes clear that… it becomes more clear when you are gone, because you are not in the whirlwind anymore. You are outside and you look in and you say, ‘wow, I pushed for a long time, seeing where other people are going’ since [the budget cap in for 2021].
“Formula 1 has changed since the budget cap came in place. The reaction of people was like, ‘you need to think different; you need to invest in your infrastructure to get the best out of your operational budget’. You just need to be very efficient, you need to put the money in, setting everything up that you’ve got a very lean machine.
“You always push to do that. Because I think our [transferrable parts purchasing] concept was very good when we started, but then when the budget cap came it just changed a little bit. And our model is maybe not the most efficient anymore. Well, not our model, their model – because I’m not there anymore.”