Steiner unsure where his motorsport passion came from

Henry Valantine
Guenther Steiner said George Russell's drive in France should inspire Haas

Guenther Steiner said George Russell's drive in France should inspire Haas

Guenther Steiner has admitted he does not quite know where his love of motorsport originated, as his family were more into skiing and other sports.

The Haas team principal grew up in northern Italy, where motorsport was not a popular pastime, nor did the region host many events to watch for young motor enthusiasts.

But Steiner eventually went on to study engineering and began his motorsport career as a mechanic for the Mazda World Rally Championship team in the mid-1980s.

He then moved up the ladder in his later roles in motorsport on his way to becoming team boss at Haas, but said his beginnings were important for his career development.

“I would say it’s a help,” Steiner said of his mechanic experience. “I started more than 35 years ago and everything was different then. I’m an old man now,” he added to IONOS’ Drive Digital Success podcast, as quoted by Speedweek.

“Motorsport was different then than it is now, and that was also an advantage because the whole business grew over the years.

“I was there and I was able to learn and develop as I worked. The whole thing was not yet as big an industry as it is today. And I didn’t start in Formula 1 either but in the World Rally Championship.

“Back then, everything was smaller and simpler. It became more complex over time and I developed along with it.

“I don’t know where my passion for motorsport came from, my family wasn’t that interested. Where I come from, there are very few, if any, motorsport events.

“It’s more about skiing and other good things. But I just had a passion for racing cars and asked my father to take me to nearby hill climbs. That’s where it all started.”


Steiner has used his experience to help navigate a year to forget for Haas, with the team not developing their car all season and running last of the runners for the majority of 2021.

He compared running two rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to being like having children at times last season, and said they learned the ropes of Formula 1 “the hard way” in their first year.

Steiner has been optimistic about the team’s hopes of running further up the field in 2022, through a combination of their extended focus on the new car and their drivers now having a year of experience under their belts.


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