Haas insist they will not change the VF-19’s livery or use of the Rich Energy logo despite the company’s defeat in court.
Whyte Bikes won a copyright infringement claim against Rich Energy earlier this week over their stag logo – a design almost identical to the one established by Whyte.
The company can now launch an injunction to prevent Rich Energy from using the logo, as well as potentially claim for damages and a share of their profits.
The logo appears on the VF-19 and on the Haas drivers’ helmets, but the team insist they have not been told to remove it before the case returns to the courts next month.
“We were told [that] when we need to change something they will tell us,” Steiner told Motorsport.com.
“For sure we check that everything is okay and we are doing everything they tell us. We don’t have a problem with the logo, Rich Energy has a problem with the logo, so I don’t know if they need to change it or if there is another solution.
“I am not going to get involved in their issues because they don’t need me to sort that one out. For here [Monaco], we were told to keep the logo like it is and if there are any other instructions coming we are ready for it.”
The courts were highly critical of Rich Energy CEO William Storey, but Steiner doesn’t believe Haas’ image is in danger of being tarnished.
“I prefer not to judge people on what they say and what they do,” he stressed. “As you all know, I am very liberal on that stuff, I am not trying to say to people you did wrong or right, that is not my position in life,” he stressed.
“The judge had an opinion and they [Rich Energy] as far as I understand, and it is not coming from me, they will appeal the verdict. I think we have to wait until everything is done and then come to a conclusion.
“I think if the judge judges William like this, what can I do about this? He hasn’t done anything bad to me. That is my opinion of it.
“He has done what he has said he is going to do. Is it bad for us? I don’t really think so because the brand Rich Energy is bigger than William Storey in my opinion, so I wait until it is all over.”
Steiner also turned the tables on Whyte Bikes, claiming they had used images of the VF-19 for a free publicity stunt.
“I think it is easy way for Whyte Bikes to get a little bit of publicity putting an F1 car on without paying the money for it, so fair play to them,” said Steiner.
“They can get a lot of publicity out of it, but we are not actively dragged into it because we didn’t do anything wrong. Our car is there but it doesn’t say that Haas did anything wrong, so I cannot even complain about that. They didn’t accuse us of doing anything wrong. They just said the logo is on an F1 car.”