Guenther Steiner: Basing Haas in America would put us back in the field quite a lot

Michelle Foster
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner with a quirky look. Miami May 2022

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner with a quirky look. Miami May 2022

Ahead of Haas’ 2023 livery launch, Guenther Steiner has ruled out the American team relocating to the United States as he reckons that would be a one-way road to the very back of the F1 grid.

Arriving on the Formula 1 grid back in 2016, Gene Haas set up his headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina, which is also home to his NASCAR team. But in truth Haas is very much based in Europe, England and Italy to be precise.

The Ferrari-powered team has offices at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters where they have access to their wind tunnel while the operations side of the business, including the Vehicle Performance department and race team support, is in Banbury near Silverstone.

But given that Haas, despite being largely set up in Europe, is still billed as America’s only Formula 1 team, the question about moving the full operation to the United States was recently put to team boss Steiner.

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“Very difficult to do,” he admitted to KVUE. “There’s just so much expertise in Europe for F1.

“I always say nothing is impossible but it is made more difficult now with the budget cap because to move people you need to offer something more.

“I think the United States is not a cheap place to employ people as well and you always tried to do the best you can within a budget cap.

So at the moment it would be not very… not a positive move for the team to move over to the US.

“Nothing is impossible, we all know that. But would it be a wise decision? I don’t think so at the moment. Very difficult to do in the moment.”

The Italian believes moving to America would in fact hurt Haas’ chances of improving on last year’s P8 in the Constructors’ Championship.

“I know I didn’t give you a proper answer to that,” he continued, “but in the moment there is no thought about doing that because it would that put us back in the field quite a lot.”

F1’s potential other American team would also need a UK base

Haas may not be the only American team on the grid for much longer, at least if Michael Andretti and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem have their way.

Andretti, under the name Andretti Global, has applied to become the 11th team on the Formula 1 grid, the American teaming up with General Motors under their Cadillac brand.

Should he secure that spot he too concedes he’ll need to have a base in England, although in time he would like the Andretti F1 cars to be designed in America.

“Eventually we’d like to build it here,” he said. “The first car would have to be farmed out, sort of like the way Haas does it now. And then eventually build our own car.

“My dream is to do it here, to have a true American car. We’d still have a big presence in the UK, but have the actual building of it here.”