Haas will be restricted in how much they can rotate staff during F1 2023

Henry Valantine
Mick Schumacher, Haas pit stop. Miami May 2022.

Mick Schumacher rolls into his pit box for a practice stop. Miami May 2022.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has admitted the team will not be able to rotate many of its staff members at races next season.

With a record 24 races originally pencilled in for the 2023 season prior to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix, staff welfare is becoming a more talked-about issue in the paddock, with already long working hours on top of ever-increasing travel demands proving to be an enlarging obstacle for teams to manage.

While teams at the front of the grid will have the option to rotate their staff race-to-race dependent on their needs to keep more of their people ‘fresh’ as the season progresses, smaller teams like Haas will not have that same luxury according to their team boss.

“I’m not as privileged as them, you know, I have to go to the races, actually – these are the rich people which can afford not to go because they’ve got so many people working for them,” Steiner quipped to the Beyond the Grid podcast when asked about whether or not Haas will be able to rotate their staff next season, in the same way as the likes of his Ferrari and Mercedes counterparts.

“And to be honest, I don’t dislike to go to races. This is what I’m doing, what I like most.

“Going racing, it’s one of the things I do like. I will go, hopefully, with 24 races you never know if you’re sick on one race or something – I hope I’m not – and I will go to all the races.

“It is a long season, but rotating the staff? We don’t have a plan to rotate continuously, proper, whole team.

“There will be a few positions will rotate in the team. But the main people, the mechanics and the engineers, will be always the same.”

F1 budget cap is in place, but Haas still one of the smallest teams

Formula 1 has introduced its spending limits in recent seasons, but the fact that some teams are able to rotate staff members and others will not have capacity to do so shows the inequality that still exists in the sport – not least in the size of the infrastructure in place at different teams.

Haas are still the sport’s ‘newest’ constructor after their original entry into Formula 1 back in 2016, and as with any team in sport, it’s still the case that some are simply bigger than others – though the budget restrictions will bring the bigger teams closer to the spending levels of those below.

With the 2023 calendar set to run to a record schedule, Haas may end up providing an inadvertent litmus test for how well staff members will be able to cope with the ever-increasing demands placed on Formula 1 teams, particularly later on in the season.

For their sake and for others up and down the grid, staff welfare is likely to be a big topic of conversation towards the end of 2023. Hopefully the people at the heart of the sport are able to come through the year well looked after, and their voices will be heard if they are struggling.

Read more: Romain Grosjean: Budget cap introduction second only to the Halo device