Haas Formula 1 chief Günther Steiner says the protest of Force India’s cars ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is driven by a desire to seek “equality” for the entire field.

Haas launched a protest against both of Force India’s cars on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, with both teams attending a hearing with the stewards on Friday between FP1 and FP2.

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The stewards stated they had received a “substantial amount” of evidence that meant no decision would be taken until Saturday afternoon at the earliest.

The protest is understood to relate to the intellectual property of Force India’s cars following it is re-entry to the championship at the Belgian Grand Prix, with links to the team’s eligibility for ‘Column 1’ prize money – something Haas is against.

Steiner met with media in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening, and while he would not be drawn explicitly on the grounds of the protest, he confirmed it was linked to the team’s push for equality throughout the grid.

“What we are seeking for is equality for all the teams,” Steiner said.

“We came in under certain circumstances into Formula 1, we were aware of what we have to do, we did it all, and we feel that this was not done this time with Force India.

“We are just seeking equality or at least an explanation why it isn’t done.”

Haas was not eligible for Column 1 prize money until 2018 after entering F1 as a new team at the start of the 2016 season.

Racing Point Force India technically entered F1 as a new team at the Belgian Grand Prix this year, taking over the place of Sahara Force India after the operation exited administration.

However, it claims to still have the right to the Column 1 prize money – that is shared equally between all 10 F1 teams -  which Haas is opposing.

“The problem is maybe bigger than Force India, but we are just seeking that everybody is treated equally,” Steiner said.

“That is the only thing we are seeking. We are not trying to get more [money]. We are just trying to that everybody in this position in the future knows what he’s going to do.”

Steiner said the action was “absolutely” a last resort, and rejected suggestions the team was on a “crusade” in its push against Force India.

“It isn’t a crusade. Haas F1 obey by the rules and did what needed to be done, so [team owner Gene Haas] is just trying to find out or to make it equal for everybody,” Steiner said.

“That’s what he’s trying. It isn’t a crusade, he doesn’t want more, so he’s just saying ‘hey, we did this, I knew I was going to do this, I was happy to do it, and it’s the same for everybody.’"

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