Guenther Steiner names the one engine deal Haas will not be courting

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner on the Haas pit wall. Monaco May 2023

Team boss Guenther Steiner on the Haas pit wall.

As Aston Martin look ahead to a works deal with Honda and Sauber prepare for life as Audi, Guenther Steiner doesn’t believe F1 teams have to become works outfits to succeed.

Haas have been powered by Ferrari since their inception but, while the Scuderia have won 18 grands prix since then and finished runner-up five times, Haas have yet to get off the mark with their best finish in the championship being 2018’s P5.

Haas have a contract with Ferrari, one that extends beyond the engine, as it also includes the gearbox along with FIA-prescribed parts.

However, in 2026, there’ll be six engine manufacturers to choose from: Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, Red Bull-Ford, Honda, and Audi. That means six teams will be the official works outfits and four will be customers.

Haas, Steiner says, will fall into the latter category.

“I wouldn’t say you need to [become a works team], I mean, you need to look into where you want to be in five to 10 years,” he said.

“I think we are all at the moment overthinking what is coming in ’26. I think there will be solutions to it, because not everybody can have a works team.

“It looks like for ’26, there are only six engine manufacturers. So four teams will need to take a customer engine. We will be one of them for ’26.

“But, looking forward, we need to see how Formula 1 is going, because – and I don’t want to sound negative – but manufacturers come and go, and teams stay, so we need to think that as well.

“It could be also maybe teams are happy not to be a manufacturer in five years. So let’s see what time brings.

“But, at the moment, I think we are ready for ’26. We’ve got the customer engine and make the best out of it.” recommends

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The Haas team boss says customer teams can draw inspiration from Aston Martin – after all the Silverstone team has been ahead of its engine supplier’s works team, Mercedes, in six of this year’s seven races.

“I just give one example, Aston Martin: what engine are they running? Mercedes. Where is Aston Martin? In front of Mercedes at the moment,” said the Italian.

“While you are all thinking that will change in the future, you always have to live in the reality as well.

“There is a good chance that the customer team can do better than the works team like it is happening right now and you have to move with it, it’s not something I dream up.

“And then also in 2026, there are six engine manufacturers. And how do you know that all do the same good job? There could be two or three which do a worse job, but if you are with the right manufacturer, you are in front of the other one.

“So, there are pros as well to being a customer. If you go out there and make your own engine, and the engine is not good, what have you achieved then?

“I think it’s all open and only the future will tell. I think that we can dream up a lot of scenarios, which could and should happen, but the fact is that at the moment a customer team is beating the works team – and not a bad works team by the way!”