Steiner in Search for ‘Holy Grail’ Even if ‘Loopholes are Closed’ for Haas F1

Published 08/21/2021, 9:34 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Haas team principal Guenther Steiner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The most successful underdogs of their season, Brawn GP, are one of the well-known fairytales in the sport. While Haas F1 are the weakest team on the track, with zero points to their name, we can draw many parallels between the two teams’ situations. Rising out of financial crises, a past of disappointing points, and facing new regulations; when looked at closely, Haas could be the new Brawn GP.

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Although, team principal Guenther Steiner doesn’t feel the same way. Speaking to GPFans Global, he said, “I don’t think it will happen again. Times have changed, there is sophistication of the tech in the rules that is so much higher these days than they were then.”

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Haas’ Mick Schumacher in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Steiner believes that the tight regulations impede their chance of a Brawn-like happy ending. “The loopholes are closed before they even become public. The technical advisory group, if somebody sees something which could be possibly giving one team an advantage, it is closed down immediately.”

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Brawn GP – an inspiration for Haas

Brawn GP was born out of the financial crisis faced by Honda, who pulled out of the sport at the last minute. Ross Brawn, presently the Managing director of F1, partnered with Nick Fry to save the team.

Their famous start in Australia was with the Brawn BGP001 – a car that featured ‘double diffusers’ to give the team an edge. Seven teams on the grid protested against the car; the race in Australia only turned more heads. The front row lockout with Jenson Button on pole confirmed that the pace was there.

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However, there were a lot of on-track incidents caused by the team. They miraculously maintained their positions on top of both boards, claiming the double championship with Button at the end of the season.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 1, 2021 Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Haas’ Nikita Mazepin in action during qualifying REUTERS/Juan Medina

Haas find themselves at the brink of a new era, a fresh start. Steiner is correct in saying that pulling off gambits like the double diffuser would be much harder in today’s era. However, with a blank canvas presented to them, will the American team be able to improve and at least compete in the midfield?

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Skeptical about having the same luck as Brawn, Steiner concluded, “I see the chances for that to happen very small, but never say never. That’s my opinion. Maybe somebody has got the holy grail somewhere here.”

Watch this story: F1 Drivers Fighting on Track

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Shreya Sanjeev

350 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.

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