Guenther Steiner speaks out against calls for FIA to target Red Bull pace

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner in the Sakhir paddock. Bahrain March 2023

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner in the Sakhir paddock. Bahrain March 2023

Guenther Steiner says it is up to Red Bull’s rivals to close the gap out on track with the Haas team boss not in favour of the FIA intervening.

From banning Mercedes’ front and rear interconnected suspension to Brawn GP’s blown diffuser, motorsport’s governing body has intervened in the past in order to curtail a team’s advantage. It has been suggested they may do the same with Red Bull.

Having won the Bahrain Grand Prix by 38s ahead of the first non-Red Bull car and been 15s up in Saudi Arabia, Max Verstappen kept his advantage over Lewis Hamilton in Australia underneath the 10s mark.

George Russell believes that’s because Red Bull want to avoid the FIA stepping in.

“For sure they’re holding back,” the Mercedes driver told the Chequered Flag podcast. “I think they are almost embarrassed to show their full potential because the faster they seem, the more that the sport is going to try and hold them back somehow.”

However, Haas team boss Steiner says it’s not for the FIA to get involved, rather it’s up to Red Bull’s rivals to figure out how they’ve managed to achieve their speed and then replicate it themselves.

He told Motorsport.com: “Obviously at the moment Red Bull has an advantage, but I wouldn’t say they’ll keep that advantage now for the next 20 races.

“I’m not so sure about that because everybody will catch up, and hopefully we find out how Red Bull came to this advantage and we can copy it, or do something similar.

“Everybody will be working hard and then you never have to forget Red Bull has got the penalty they got last year, they can do less development in the wind tunnel this year so they cannot move a lot ahead anymore in theory.

“So you have to see. But they did a fantastic job. And therefore, you cannot blame the regulations for that. Because if somebody does a better job than anybody else, they should get the advantage.”

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The 58-year-old says he’d vote no if a suggestion to curb Red Bull’s pace was put on the table.

“I mean it’s a voting system,” he said, “you cannot make moves just because somebody is faster than somebody else, that’s not fair.

“If they find that something is not legal, they can adjust the rules. Safety is always a concern. But I think we need to find out in a few races what is going on really. I think we shouldn’t jump to a conclusion yet.”

The Italian believes the sport of Formula 1 should come before the show, even if that means right now we have one Red Bull win after another.

“The sport is the main thing we have to have,” he  added.

“The show is secondary, but I think it will sort itself out and then still we have got a good race going on in the front now with Checo and Max, that doesn’t seem to be without sparks, without show.

“There is some show element in that one now. But I’m not worried that other people will catch up.”

Three races into this season Haas are seventh in the championship with seven points, a whopping 116 behind runaway championship leaders Red Bull.