Guenther Steiner sues Haas over ‘owed commissions’ following abrupt departure

Henry Valantine
Guenther Stieiner in the paddock in Australia.

Guenther Steiner is taking legal action against Haas over alleged unpaid commission.

Guenther Steiner is taking Haas to court over unpaid commissions he believes he is owed over his final contract with the team, court papers reveal.

Steiner’s deal to lead Haas was not renewed heading into the 2024 season after team owner Gene Haas opted to place Ayao Komatsu at the top of the organisation instead, but the former team boss has filed a complaint in North Carolina due to money he feels he is owed.

Guenther Steiner sues Haas over claim of unpaid commission

Redacted court filings were released of the claim Steiner and his legal team brought against Haas, which claimed that Steiner’s “notoriety and personality” helped in the process of Haas going from “an upstart racing team to a formidable brand on the F1 circuit.”

While the amounts were undisclosed in the filing, the legal claim brought against Haas writes that there is a figure owed to Steiner for commission that the case claims has been held by the team since 2021.

It added that, while it was the team’s right to not renew Steiner’s contract of employment, there is a set amount they believe he is owed for the period of 2021 to 2023 in commission as set out in the previous deal he had with Haas.

A passage from the filing reads: “After years of accepting the benefits of Mr. Steiner’s reputation, experience, and deep connections within the sport, Haas F1 cannot withhold from Mr. Steiner the benefits he has earned.”

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The court document also states that the team had been selling merchandise using his image which, after the two parties had gone their separate ways and without any royalty payments going to Steiner, is also an act which the former team principal’s representatives believe should not be taking place.

Steiner has become one of the most popular and recognisable figures in the Formula 1 paddock in recent years through his appearances on the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive, with his outbursts at Haas drivers in particular proving to be some of the most quotable moments from the show.

“Haas F1 has no right to use Mr Steiner’s name, image, and likeness or to exploit them in any form of media after the termination of his employment,” the filing stated.

“Haas F1 has not compensated Mr Steiner for its unauthorised use of his name, image, and likeness.”

Haas refused to comment on the legal filing when contacted by PlanetF1.com.

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