Guenther Steiner warns against ‘risks’ of adding new team to F1 grid

Sam Cooper
Haas' Guenther Steiner at the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Haas' Guenther Steiner at the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Guenther Steiner has insisted his opinion has not changed when it comes to adding an 11th team and has warned of the possible risks.

The FIA is assumed to be in the final stages of deciding which teams had passed their Expression of Interest process that was opened earlier this year in view to getting a potential 11th constructor onto the Formula 1 grid.

But even if a team were to pass this process, which assessed sporting and financial suitability, the harder part will be convincing FOM to green light the move.

Guenther Steiner warns of “risks” if new teams allowed onto F1 grid

F1 teams technically do not have a say as to whether a new opponent could join but FOM is likely to hold their opinion in high regard and the majority have been against the idea.

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has been the lead voice against the move, citing a lack of added value from prospective teams, but he is not alone in his opinion. Steiner, who is team principal of the newest team on the grid, Haas, has suggested an added constructor could pose a risk to the existing competitors.

“My opinion didn’t change,” he told media including PlanetF1.com. “It’s really stayed the same, it’s not going to change.

“Don’t forget the risk as well. Now you’ve got 10 very stable teams, which are all technically stable, financially stable. If you put another team in and maybe somebody’s getting in jeopardy in three or four years’ time, maybe we’ve got only eight or nine teams left, you know.

“So I think the business is run by FOM and they need to make sure that this is sustainable.”

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Steiner went on to warn that although Formula 1 is experiencing an upturn in popularity, it will not last forever and the sport needs to be ready for that.

“At the moment we are at the peak and everything seems to be Formula 1,” he said. “We can have 56 races a year and 22 teams in here and everything will be happy.

“We made good growth last year. It’s very stable, we have 10 very good teams. If you change something, it could go the other way.”

Teams going out of business or being sold for as little as a pound seemed commonplace at one point but since Haas’ arrival in 2016, no team has left or joined the grid. Steiner said the sport has never had as many stable teams and that it took work by the FOM to get to that place.

“We never had 10 stable teams,” he said. “Formula 1 is a pretty old sport but they never had 10 good teams and there was a business plan behind that from FOM to get us to this place. Obviously, this didn’t happen by accident.”

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