Steiner on the hypocrisy of open source parts

Date published: October 9 2019

Guenther Steiner has called out Haas’ rivals’ hypocrisy with some teams keen to adopt an open-source approach to parts of their design but not go down the standard parts route.

As part of the debate over the 2021 regulations, some teams have balked against the idea of introducing more standard parts into Formula 1.

However, those same teams are keen on putting parts of their designs out on open-source, allowing others to copy them.

“Yeah,” Steiner told Autosport when asked if the open source idea felt hypocritical to him. “I think there’s a lot of inconsistency of what people think.

“It’s like one day they think this; it’s all done in the moment of what suits you, in my opinion.

“‘We don’t want you to buy parts, but if you put yours on and open source it, then maybe I copy it’. That confuses me.

“That’s why I was always very relaxed about these things – it’s like, ‘Guys, we cannot just react to somebody performing better than somebody else and then try to hinder him and then open [it] up’.

“Because then if everybody uses the open-source parts and someone says, ‘I cannot afford them so we should take open-source parts away’ – at some stage we can make another 20 categories how to make these parts, and confuse everybody.

“I think we are confusing ourselves. We try to find a fix for it, but with each fix we create two more problems. And then we create two more fixes and have four more problems.

“At some stage, we don’t know anymore what to check and what is what.

“Trying to explain this to people, how to do this, how this sport is done, it’s getting quite difficult because sometimes I need to read all these abbreviations three or four times until I remember them.”

Steiner added that the open source most probably wouldn’t work in Formula 1 given that the rest of the car’s design would be different meaning the two parts most likely wouldn’t work together.

“We have to watch the consequences because all the parts which are on open source, they are holding onto something, they are connecting something,” said Steiner.

“But I’m always for trying things – as long as we are prepared to try things and then to change them back where they are, it’s good.

“We just don’t need to be stubborn and say we try something and then we need to make sure what we did was right, to prove yourself right, because sometimes then you do the wrong thing.”

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