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Steiner: If F1 doesn't change there's no point to be in it

NEWS STORY
14/01/2019

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."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 14/01/2019 17:57

"Sport at this level is business masquerading as sport. The real money isn't made in prize money but rather sponsorships and alliances. Podiums and wins make the sponsorships more valuable inside the sport and the sport itself provides the value across the grid. If finishing fourth, fifth, or sixth makes your team valuable enough to sponsors to fund your business and pay your salaries then there is every reason to "waste" your life. If finishing eight, ninth, or tenth does not make your team valuable enough, well then, that's your impetus to improve. If the sport redistributes the prize money so that every team is viable - the equivalent of a participation trophy, guaranteeing equal results as opposed to equal opportunity - then sign me up to be team eleven. I'll be happy to finish in last place and pocket the money for my moving billboards!"

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2. Posted by Fambank, 14/01/2019 17:38

"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

You already took a shortcut by using Ferrari components, what more do you want ? "

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3. Posted by Oldbuzzard, 14/01/2019 16:45

"I agree. The point of competing in any sport is to win. If the rules of the sport continue to favor a few competitors at the expense of the rest, there is no point in participating. The golden rule I applied to sponsoring any racing team in any series was to sponsor only a team with a good chance of podium finishes in every race. And, even today, without sponsorship, billionaire or manufacturerer owners, you have no chance for consistent podium opportunities. "

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 14/01/2019 15:25

"'...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....'

I think I could find several 10's of millions of equally talented people who would quite happily swap. Then he can do all of the above (bar most of the travel) inside an over-heated Office located in a grid-locked city centre.
Just FYI Mr Steiner the days of the 'cushy' 9-5 with a big pension ended about 25 years ago. Everybody works hard for long hours, most for far less reward than I imagine he receives. "

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