Steiner reveals Haas goal for next 150 races as anniversary looms
Guenther Steiner is relieved Haas is still in business as the team celebrates its 150th grand prix this weekend in Monaco.
Haas is now in its eighth season after embarking upon its F1 journey in 2016, a year at the end of which Manor folded, following in the footsteps of Caterham and HRT, both of which had departed in preceding seasons.
Haas has managed to survive against the odds, notably through the uncertain Covid period, and is now considerably stronger thanks to the introduction of the cost cap.
Over the previous 149 races there have been few highs, with the team’s zenith undoubtedly the pole position scored by Kevin Magnussen in last year’s São Paulo Grand Prix, and many lows.
As to whether Steiner would accept his team’s current position, or if he feels more should have been achieved, he replied: “I would take it.
“When we went in (to F1) we knew what we were getting into, and just being around is an achievement.
“You think of all the other teams that have tried over the past 20 years and they are not around anymore.”
As to what he is expecting over the next 150 races, which would see Haas racing through to 2030, with a laugh he declared: “To still be here!”
He then added: “Without joking, to get better, just making progress.
“In Formula 1, all 10 teams are in a good place at the moment, and you need to be doing a very, very good job to make progress.
“Over the next few years, we’ve a new engine, a new complete aero package, so there’s a lot of work in front of us.
“And the aim is always to get better every time you do something.”
Gene Haas the believer – Steiner
Steiner credits owner Gene Haas’ resilience with the team’s longevity as the former feels the latter could easily have pulled the plug at any time.
“From 2020, it was not all fine,” assessed Steiner. “Formula 1 was in a different place in 2020 when the pandemic started.
“In the end, he believed in us, and he stuck to it. Maybe somebody else wouldn’t. That is why we have survived.
“Compared to the other teams (that have since folded), I wouldn’t say we have done a better job.
“We have done things differently, which was criticised in the beginning, but it was the only way for a new team to survive. We recognised that, and we did it our way.
“So we have to take some credit as a team, and Gene was all part of that idea as well. Credit to him for that.
“If he had done what others did then maybe we wouldn’t be here anymore. Just doing more of the same doesn’t make you successful.
“You need to do something better, and it’s difficult in F1 to do something better because all the other nine teams have pretty smart people.
“If you think you’re smarter than them, then your ego needs to be very high, or you need to be highly intelligent – and I don’t think I’m that.”
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