Apr.22 (GMM) Gunther Steiner is “confident” that Haas team owner Gene Haas will remain committed to Formula 1 throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
Before the pandemic struck, bringing the sport to a sudden halt and endangering the mere survival of smaller teams, Haas was openly questioning the value of racing around in the lower part of the grid.
“Forget everything that was said, because circumstances have changed,” team boss Steiner told Ekstra Bladet.
“I think Gene wants to keep going, but we need to make sure we can get through this season without wasting money.
“I feel confident that we will continue, and I speak with Gene on an almost daily basis through this crisis. I keep him updated on everything. In times of crisis, I need him more than when everything runs smoothly,” added Steiner.
“He appreciates it and sees that we are working hard to continue. Everything said before is straight into the trash – right now we are struggling to have races again this year.
“Forget how we perform in them – we must have races so that the sponsors get some benefit from their investment,” he said. “Teams are like any other business when they have no income.”
2021, though, is a different matter, especially as the teams are yet to sign up for the next Concorde Agreement, which would run through 2025.
“The deadline is the signing of the Concorde Agreement,” Steiner confirmed.
“And as you know, there is a lot of discussion about the budget cap. Before we agree, no team signs. So to think about the medium term we need to fix the short term, but I think we have the will to keep going,” he added.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner thinks Liberty Media would bail out teams if they collapse financially during the pandemic.
Steiner said: “The FIA and FOM are making great efforts so that the sport has a good future with ten teams. They say we have ten good teams now and the goal should be to keep everyone.
“This is very serious for us and very serious for Formula 1 in general, but I think we are on the right track.
“We have to start again as soon as it is safe to do so. All the governments will also try to restart, because if nobody is working, you have no finances anywhere.
“It’s pretty simple. We are not a charity, we are a business and people have to be paid. But we can’t get started until it’s safe,” Steiner said.