Guenther Steiner quizzed on Haas’ NASCAR exit and potential F1 team impact

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner looks directly down the barrel on the camera lens with a prominent Haas logo alongside him

Guenther Steiner was dropped by Haas after the 2023 season

Guenther Steiner has no inside information about Haas’ decision to quit NASCAR, nor does he feel F1 needs an American team as that’s just a “publicity stunt”.

Questions were asked about the Haas Formula 1 team after Gene Haas announced earlier this week that he was withdrawing from America’s NASCAR series.

Guenther Steiner: Did you not read the news?

Racing under the Stewart-Haas in co-ownership with NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, they announced: “We have made the difficult decision to close Stewart-Haas Racing at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

“The commitment needed to extract maximum performance while providing sustainability is incredibly demanding, and we’ve reached a point in our respective personal and business lives where it’s time to pass the torch.”

Haas were quick to deny that the NASCAR decision would have an impact on the Formula 1 operations, a team spokesperson clarifying: “Business as usual for Haas F1 Team – Gene [is] fully engaged and committed.”

But could it in fact be a good thing for Haas’ F1 team?

That question was put to former team boss Steiner, who was axed at the end of a disappointing 2023 campaign with Haas bottom of the log.

“Did you not read the news? I’m not there any more,” he told The Red Flag podcast. “I don’t know.”

But told to guess, he replied: “I don’t really know what Gene Haas intends to do.

“I think the NASCAR team, I don’t know if he got bored of it, if it didn’t make financial sense anymore and was just like ‘let’s close it’.

“So I don’t know if because of that there will be more money going to F1. I have no idea about that.”

Asked if he ever asked his former Haas boss to drop NASCAR to focus more on F1, he replied: “No, because I don’t dislike NASCAR.

“I think if you watch it often enough, you can understand. I don’t watch the whole race to be honest, because sitting there for five hours is…”

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Guenther Steiner on the ‘publicity stunt’ of an ‘American team’

Haas joined the Formula 1 grid back in 2016, racing under an American license.

But failing to impress in recent years, there’s a potential new American team around the corner in Andretti-Cadillac.

While Haas’ statement about business as usual put a swift end to speculation Andretti could buy the Ferrari-powered team, Andretti could yet make its way onto the grid as the 11th team.

Asked about talk of them being the “big American team”, Steiner scoffed at the notion that any team is national.

“It’s a publicity stunt that we need an American team,” he said. “Haas is an American team, it’s got an American licence.

“F1 is such a global sport, the only national team is Ferrari, all the other ones…

“Would you know which licence Red Bull is running under? It’s Austrian. But they have nothing in Austria.

“It’s such a global sport, I don’t think nationality counts so much like it does in other sports.”

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