Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Gene Haas’ belief in Formula 1’s future direction and major upcoming rule changes were vital to committing to the sport.

The future of the US-based outfit had been in question after recent struggles but Haas signed the new Concorde Agreement in a commitment to F1 until at least 2025.

Team owner Gene Haas had publicly stated concerns over its performance on numerous occasions since it joined the grid in 2016. Haas claimed a strong fifth place in 2018 before falling down to P9 in the 2019 constructors’ championship - a position it remains in this season.

Despite doubts over the team’s future, Haas joined F1’s other nine teams in committing to the sport by signing the new Concorde Agreement last week.

“I guess Gene looked at it and Formula 1’s still a very good tool for getting his brand name, Haas Automation, out in the world,” said Steiner.

“It works – otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. He loves the sport as well.

“Even if it is a big financial commitment, with the new regulations coming in, it should make the playing field more even and the commercial aspects better for the smaller teams – so as a result he has decided to continue.

“For me, it means – even at the moment when we’re not running competitively, we’ve got a Formula 1 team which works, and that’s more down to the team than to me.

“I’m part of the team though, we all work together, and in the end, Gene believes in the team. Everybody is, for sure, happy to be moving forward now with the agreement signed.”

As part of the incoming regulation overhaul, F1 has agreed to reduce the budget cap that will come in for 2021 to $145, with a further decrease to $135 for 2023.

Steiner is optimistic the budget cap will have the desired effect of helping to level the playing field and create a more competitive environment.

“The budget cap should level the playing field, it will level the playing field,” Steiner explained.

“Maybe not in the first year, but in the mid-term for sure. The payments, to make it more equal, will also mean the smaller teams get a little more revenue.

“It’s never enough for the small teams, by the way, but it levels the field and that should be the aim of a sport – any day, anybody can win. It’ll take a while until that happens but for Formula 1 it’s a big step in the right direction.

“Times change and I think Liberty did a great job in adapting to those times and making changes when it was needed. It was needed a few years ago, but it’s better late than never.”

 

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