Steiner: F1 in false sense of normality, then Honda quit

Jamie Woodhouse
Guenther Steiner Haas

Guenther Steiner doesn't understand criticism of pay drivers.

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says Formula 1 is “very good at forgetting very quick”, but Honda reminded the sport of its flaws.

That main flaw for Steiner revolves around the complexity of the technology in Formula 1, and the fact that Honda will be able to walk away from the sport clean at the end of 2021.

Arguably Formula 1 has never faced a challenge like the COVID-19 pandemic, but Steiner thinks the next big change ahead for the sport is to stop falling into the trap of thinking everything is back to normal too quickly.

Honda announcing that they would leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021 was the perfect reminder.

“Instead of just trying to always get the last bit out of technology and everything, we should also make sure that we have got a sustainable business and not only a sustainable technology,” Steiner is quoted by GPFans.

“Why would you run a normal business with this big risk that somebody can just get out of a contract without doing anything?

“I think we need always to be aware of that and I think we have got a lot more aware of it, but we are very good in forgetting very quick, because all of a sudden, everything is good again.

“We are back racing, okey dokey, let’s go racing, everything will be like it was before. Not always, that will not happen.”

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Currently Honda are the only engine manufacturer to have pulled out, leaving Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault for 2022 and beyond.

But Steiner wouldn’t be surprised to see others follow Honda out of the door, comparing the present time to the global financial crisis which caused Honda to exit the sport at the end of the 2008 season.

“I think we need to be aware that this happens any day with anybody,” he explained.

“You need to think back, I don’t know if it was 2008, 2009 when three manufacturers pulled out. From one day to the other, Formula 1 was a different world.

“We don’t have to forget what happened this March. A pandemic came along and all of a sudden, we were in a bad spot, all of us.

“But we keep on forgetting that this thing can happen in Formula 1. This is not an essential business.

“Each company can decide to pull out any day. As much as we’re surprised, we shouldn’t be surprised because again, this can happen tomorrow.”

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