Guenther Steiner takes Haas F1 team to court over owed monies

Guenther Steiner has launched legal action against his former F1 team, Haas.

Guenther Steiner, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April
Guenther Steiner, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April

Guenther Steiner is taking his former Haas F1 to court over money he claims he is owed.

Courthouse documents have revealed that Steiner has sued the American outfit he was team principal of from 2014 until the end of 2023.

Haas chose not to renew Steiner’s contract and replaced him with Ayao Komatsu ahead of the 2024 season.

The Italian has launched court action against Haas, claiming unpaid commissions between 2021 and 2023, according to court papers that have been lodged in Mecklenburg, North Carolina.

“Haas F1 chose not to renew Mr. Steiner's Employment Agreement,” the court papers state. “This was its right. But Haas F1 has done what it has no right to do and refused to pay Mr. Steiner [amount redacted] owed under his Employment Agreement.

“But after years of accepting the benefits of Mr. Steiner's reputation, experience, and deep connections within the sport, Haas F1 cannot withhold from Mr. Steiner the benefits he has earned.”

The papers noted how Steiner’s popularity on Netflix’s Drive to Survive documentary was “extremely valuable” to Haas.

“Haas F1 was frequently featured in the series, and Mr. Steiner's presence in the show drove more and more fans to Haas F1,” they read.

“This exposure was extremely valuable to the upstart racing team, particularly as it looked for additional revenue streams to support itself in the notoriously expensive Formula 1 environment.”

The lawsuit also highlights how Haas continue to sell merchandise linked to Steiner.

“Haas F1 has no right to use Mr. Steiner's name, image, and likeness or to exploit them in any form of media after the termination of his employment,” the papers continued.

“Haas F1 has not compensated Mr. Steiner for its unauthorized use of his name, image, and likeness.”

Steiner has appeared in the F1 paddock at some races this year as a TV pundit.

He has not ruled out a full-time return to the sport.

“In Formula 1 there’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes and I wouldn't say that I'm involved in all of them but some of them I know what's going on,” Steiner told The Race podcast.

“And if some of these things come alive, I'm there, and maybe I'm a candidate for it.

“But I'm not getting up in the morning and my agenda is phoning up these and these people and lobbying to be a team principal in this or that team.”

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