Guenther Steiner Claims Lack of ‘Crystal Ball’ Foiled Haas F1 From Leveraging American Sponsors

Published 10/23/2021, 9:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 7, 2021 Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Haas F1 has been the only American team on the grid since its introduction in 2016. The team became the first all-American team in decades and continues to hold this place. Liberty Media and the Miami circuit have increased the traction from American viewers; Guenther Steiner looks back at what could have been a better use of this unique position.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Recently, the word around the paddock has been that America racing luminary Andretti will make its way to F1. This threatens Haas’ ‘special’ position on the grid.

When Steiner was asked if this possibility bothered him, his reply revealed a different regret. “I don’t see anybody as a threat. An American team–we have no issue with that one, wherever the team is from.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Haas’ Mick Schumacher in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Steiner explained, “I think we didn’t exploit the American sponsorship market as much as we should have, because otherwise, we would have more Americans on the car.”

Steiner understands that the sport suddenly has a booming American audience.

As the youngest team on the grid, things have not been good for Haas financially. This has affected their car development and performance as a result. Steiner reflected that even though they would have gained American sponsors, little would have changed for the team.

“There hasn’t come anybody knocking on our door with a big sponsorship and saying because we are American this is what we are going to do, or this is why we are going to support an American driver. There is no magic in this game. And whatever happens, there will not be a lot of change.”

Haas could have banked on their American name

Although the situation is different now, Steiner believes the team could have leveraged their status as an American team.

I think we neglected that a little bit in the beginning when we came in because Formula 1 grew very quickly in the last two years. In the beginning, when we started, it was a lot smaller; now it seems ‘Why didn’t we see that coming?’ “

The sport owes a lot of its newfound growth in the Drive To Survive docuseries; a show where Steiner, too, gained followers. However, the team principal doesn’t beat himself up too much.

“I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me, but obviously we think this interest, we need to put more emphasis on it to attract sponsors, to get more involved with people from America.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

As the team races on its home circuit, they hope to make an impression.

“I wouldn’t say we did a bad job, it was just that the market wasn’t there and now there is a market here, there is a big demand for Formula 1, so hopefully we can get a little bit of something out of it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With Haas’ strategic financial approach to developing the 2022 car, there is still hope for the team. Although the team has scored no points this season, the team might sit pretty in 2022. Surely, the sun will shine bright on Haas soon.

Watch this story: Biggest Crashes From 2020 Featuring Leclerc, Vettel & Grosjean

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Shreya Sanjeev

617 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT