Haas, Renault discussed possible partnership

Jamie Woodhouse

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has said he spoke with former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul a few times in 2020 about a possible collaboration.

Once McLaren made the decision to return to Mercedes power for 2021, that left Renault without a team to supply moving forward.

Former Renault team principal Abiteboul had mentioned his squad would look at finding a partner team, as opposed to a customer, in the right circumstances.

Renault were then rebranded to Alpine over the winter break, with Abiteboul leaving his role.

And Steiner confirmed that last year he did speak with Abiteboul “a few times about what their plans are”, as reported by Formel1.de.

Haas have been a Ferrari customer since joining Formula 1 back in 2016, relying heavily on the Italian outfit for their engines and parts.

“We never got to a point where we would have negotiated. We just looked at who was doing what and that’s it,” said Steiner.

“Then we said there is nothing in it, and done. I always have to look around at what is possible and what is not possible.”

Despite speaking briefly with Renault, Steiner confirmed Haas’ relationship with Ferrari is set to continue for the “short and medium term”.

“I can say with confidence that in the next few years, in the short and medium term, nothing will change in this relationship,” he said.

“We have our design offices in Italy. To change all that, it wouldn’t have been worth it.”

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Steiner stressed that loyalty is also very important, even though Ferrari are working their way back from a poor showing in the engine department which started at the backend of 2019.

“I believe in loyalty, and Gene [Haas, team owner] too. Without Ferrari, we wouldn’t be here,” said Steiner.

“Now they are in a bit of trouble, but I hope this is only short-term. Ferrari have come back every time. To take the first opportunity to jump off, that would not be very ethical.

“We have a relationship with Ferrari that is now entering its sixth year. The relationship is good. In every respect there are problems that you solve somehow.”

During the off-season, Groupe Renault rebranded their Formula 1 team to Alpine and there had also been talk of a possible partnership with Williams.

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