Steiner not fazed by new Ferrari-Sauber deal

Date published: August 15 2017

Guenther Steiner is confident Sauber’s new Ferrari deal won’t hurt Haas’ own deal with the Scuderia.

Sauber recently called it quits on their proposed link up with Honda, instead opting to sign a new long-term deal with Ferrari for 2018 onwards.

The deal saw Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne state that he could see Sauber becoming a “kind of junior team” for the Scuderia, a place where they could blood their young drivers.

Steiner, though, reckons should that transpire it won’t have a negative impact on Haas’ own relationship with the Italian stable.

The team boss told Sky Sports F1: “I don’t think so. We look after ourselves and our relationship with Ferrari.

“If they have a relationship with somebody else… We are not asked anyway what we think about it or what they should be doing.

“I think our relationship is strong. I think it will continue as good as it is now. I think without them we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”

As for Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi, the two Ferrari youngsters who could yet race for Sauber next season, Steiner acknowledges it is not easy for youngsters to get into F1 these days given that teams such as Minardi and HRT, who debuted Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, no longer exist.

“I think they are both good guys, with very good potential,” he said of the duo who have both driven for Haas. “How they get into a seat is difficult, Formula One in that respect is very difficult.

“The difficulty is they need to be in the right time at the right place, there is nothing else you can do for it, at the moment you cannot even buy a cockpit at the moment.

“Like when Minardi was around, Minardi was maybe happy to be last, that was their duty to bring drivers up. Maybe they were not happy to be last but they could live with it as it was their business model: to develop drivers was their business models.

“It’s like when Ricciardo drove the HRT, you knew he was not going to do anything but it gave him experience and that’s not there anymore. It’s maybe a good thing we don’t have these teams [running at the back], but maybe a bad thing.”