Whatever one thinks of Haas‘ approach to F1, be it the close ties to Ferrari or having its chassis built by Dallara, the fact is that it is the first new team in some time to not only achieve some success but is also American, thereby offering the potential to attract new fans (races and sponsors) in the backyard of F1’s owners.
2018 saw the American outfit take a significant step forward, largely courtesy of that Ferrari power unit in the back, but unless the sport’s powers-that-be get their way in levelling the playing field, by means of regulations, and the redistribution of the prize pot, this is likely as good as its ever going to get. Though a determined effort could see Haas overhaul Renault, which according to Cyril Abiteboul, will effectively remain at a standstill for the next two seasons, there is no real likelihood of closing in on Red Bed Bull, far less Mercedes and Ferrari.
And that, according to Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner, would leave the Italian seriously reconsidering his own future.
“I think for two years, yes, it’s sustainable… but long term, no, it gets old,” he tells Motorsport.com.
“If it doesn’t change at some point there’s no point to just be in it,” he continues. “The business as a business doesn’t work if you cannot take and feel the enjoyment of competing for podiums and wins.
“There’s no point to be here after a certain time, you know,” he admits. “Why would I waste my life working madly, day and night, flying to, I don’t know, 21 countries all around the globe, to know I can just do the same as I did last year? There is no point. No point.”
However, it is not all doom and gloom, for the Italian believes the changes planned for 2021 – if they are agreed – will have a massive impact.
“It always changes and things change so quickly in here, so I don’t think that in three years Formula 1 would be the Formula 1 which is now,” he says. “I mean look at what Formula 1 was at the beginning of the 2000’s. You could make money really easily, and now it’s impossible. Just eighteen years later, it’s impossible, you know.
“Things change, and that’s actually a part of Formula 1 which interests me. It’s not like doing the same for the next 20 years. Every time something changes.”