Haas boss Guenther Steiner says team owner Gene Haas considered the terms of F1’s new Concorde Agreement as offering the US outfit a potentially viable future in the sport.
Haas, whose team joined the grid in 2016, mulled a pull-out from the sport amid the team’s struggles and Grand Prix racing’s economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the American businessman was also unhappy with F1’s revenue distribution which only compounded the minnow outfit’s difficulties in keeping its head above the water.
However, a significant revision of the latter was met with satisfaction by Haas who put pen to paper recently to extend his team’s presence on the grid for the next five years.
“I guess Gene (Haas) looked at it and Formula One’s still a very good tool for getting his brand name, Haas Automation, out in the world,” said Steiner.
“It works – otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. He loves the sport as well.
“Even if it is a big financial commitment, with the new regulations coming in, it should make the playing field more even and the commercial aspects better for the smaller teams – so as a result he has decided to continue.
“For me, it means – even at the moment when we’re not running competitively, we’ve got a Formula One team which works, and that’s more down to the team than to me.
“I’m part of the team though, we all work together, and in the end, Gene believes in the team. Everybody is, for sure, happy to be moving forward now with the agreement signed.”
Among the financial changes that shall be implemented from next year is the introduction of an all-important budget cap, the purpose of which is to help level the playing field.
Steiner: New Concorde agreement brings ‘value’ to Haas
However, Steiner insists the benefits of the new financial regime won’t be felt overnight.
“The budget cap should level the playing field, it will level the playing field – just maybe not in the first year, but in the mid-term for sure,” explained the Italian.
“The payments, to make it more equal, will also mean the smaller teams get a little more revenue.
“It’s never enough for the small teams by the way, but it levels the field and that should be the aim of a sport – any day, anybody can win.
“It’ll take a while until that happens but for Formula One it’s a big step in the right direction. Times change and I think Liberty did a great job in adapting to those times and making changes when it was needed.
“It was needed a few years ago, but it’s better late than never.”
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