Guenther Steiner. Haas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Adding a new F1 team is “just risk, no benefit” – Steiner

2023 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner sees no need to add a new team to the Formula 1 grid, after the sport’s governing body began a process to consider applications.

The FIA announced last week it had begun a process for potential new teams to enter the series from 2025. Steiner’s Haas squad remains the most recent new addition to the series, having joined in 2016. Rivals Manor went out of business at the end of the year, leaving F1 with its current 10-team line-up.

Several prospective entrants have emerged, by far the most vocal of which is Michael Andretti’s organisation. It is building a major new facility for its multi-discipline motorsports team in Indianapolis and has attracted the backing of American automotive giant General Motors to its F1 bid.

Steiner said that while F1 is enjoying a rise in popularity at the moment which has improved the financial health of the teams, it could go into reverse.

“Five years ago you could get teams for nothing,” he told Sky “You could pick it up, nobody wanted them, they went out of business. Now all of a sudden everybody wants a team.

“But it’s a lot of people which want to come in just right away for Formula 1 is on it. And the 10 teams which are here, they are all financially stable, they are all well set up. It’s a very good environment in the moment. Nobody’s struggling.

“So if you put an 11th team in and if you get a little bit a dip in the economy or something, all of a sudden it’s all there. People maybe struggle to survive. So why take that risk if there is no upside?”

The FIA’s application process states any successful applicants will require the approval of both the FIA and Formula One Management. However Steiner remains sceptical that expanding the field to a new entrant would benefit the existing competitors.

“An 11th team, what upside is it bringing? It’s not [for] me to decide, it’s for FOM to decide because they are managing more – FOM and FIA – the business side of it, of general F1.

“But there is no upside in the moment for an 11th team to come for the other teams. So there is just risk, no benefit.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Adding a new F1 team is “just risk, no benefit” – Steiner”

  1. Normally Guenther is a straight shooter but this is clearly about protecting their position as the only American* F1 team. If Andretti comes in, all the American support and sponsorship dollars will go to them.

    * In name only

    1. Yep, the real ‘risk’ is that Andretti will be more successful than Haas and Haas will get less Liberty money. I like Guenther, but this statement was just too self-serving and left a bad taste.

      1. You might say his position is a bit Rich.

  2. The teams are inevitably biased against new teams because it dilutes their earnings.

    However you’d think the newer teams would see irony in their comments. If new teams weren’t allowed we’d not have HAAS.

    More teams means less risk if one team pulls out and dilutes the control the teams have over FOM/FIA.

    As a spectator more teams can make it more interesting but only if they’re relatively competitive.

    1. Oh like Haas?

  3. We can kick out one team, perhaps another American team with no chance of ever getting beyond the midfield that’s constantly struggling for cash to the point of taking dodgy sponsorship deals or even dodgier pay drivers, and replace them with a new team, then, instead?

    The rest of his argument just sounds stupid. Again, his team only now is financially stable by virtue of a title sponsor that can just as easily leave during an “economic dip” so why is that an argument against an 11th team? I’d say having an 11th and a 12th team only makes it better for the time when Haas runs out of money and we’re not left with nine teams instead of ten, let alone 12.

    Not one team, nor FOM, have made any good argument against having another team involved, other than “we like money and we don’t want to lose some to someone else.” It’s just stupid at this point.

    1. Exactly @sjaakfoo, the best way to grow stale and rest on your laurels and stagnate and risk the future health of F1 is limiting the competition.

  4. Sure, doesn’t add anything worthwhile for the existing teams, since they will be competing for points, attention, drivers, engineers, mechanics, and sponsorship.

    For the sport overall though? Or for Fans? What’s not to like. At worst we get an interesting episode of how to fail. At best a great, fun and competitive team that upsets the competitive order!

    1. Guenther more interested in his balance sheet than the sport.

    2. Not to mention a greater opportunity for drivers to break into the sport.

      1. @tommy-c

        That is a good point too.

        If the economy of F1 is growing, more teams will not hurt F1.

  5. Pull the ladder up behind you, Guenther

  6. There’s no risk to fans, only a good chance of benefits…

  7. God, I wish I could take away Haas’ license after this statement and give it to a new team instead. Speaking of “value”, “benefit” and such terms, what did your team add to F1? What is so great about Haas that no new team could provide, or improve upon? Even more important question for this man is – what kind of a person/team COMPETING in a sport doesn’t want to allow others to compete? Pathetic statement from a person who never achieved much in F1 himself (except acting as a comedian in that documentary).

  8. Do you need another door smashed Gunther?

  9. So to be clear – in every forum on here where this topic has come up, it seems to me everyone wants to let a new team in (so long as they’re competitive ). It might be worth reminding GUnther that F1 doesn’t exists without the same fans, who wholeheartedly disagree with you.

  10. Yes, thank goodness for teams like Haas, otherwise we wouldn’t have drivers such as Mazepin and Gutierrez.

  11. Funny cause one of the best arguments in favour of this is Haas themselves, have added next to nothing in their time in f1. Buy everything, only just started claiming to be American properly & even then folks don’t care. Replace Haas with someone else I say.

  12. The pure greed of these team bosses is being exposed one by one. Instead of thinking of the fans and the health of the sport it only comes down to money.

    What happens if one engine manufacturer pulls out or evn two over a few years? Are they happy with potentially a grid of only five to seven teams? How about that for ‘value’ when supposedly the pinnacle of Motorsport only has 10-14 cars competing?

  13. Well I don’t know what benefit Haas brings to F1 tbh. It’s a constantly struggling team unable to fix problems, with hardly any sponsors, uninspired drivers, and basically it’s little more than an internet meme.

    Give me an Andretti over a Haas any day. No matter how well or bad they do, at least they have the name, the pedigree and it’s a proven winner in almost anything they race in…

    1. @fer-no65 To be honest, I loved the days when we had 26 teams and 4 or 6 or 8 of the cars (and possibly drivers too) were rubbish. It all added to the spectacle for me. And it’s always nice to have some underdogs who may cause the occasional surprise. Every business has to start somewhere. Let them try. The gatekeeping system is already strong enough, in my opinion.

      1. When did you watch 26 teams race, exactly?

        1. I imagine it’s a slip of the keyboard and they meant 26 cars…

          1. Ah you’re probably right.

          2. You almost got it right though, we had 19 teams on 1990 season. Ah the good old pre qualifying! Those were the days! AGS, Eurobrun, Coloni, Life F1 teams were amazing!

  14. These arrogant teams forget who they’re racing for.

    1. They know exactly who they’re racing for.

      So long as it’s more profitable to be bad in F1 than winning in anything else, most F1 teams will continue to be happy to spend years, even decades, in uncompetitive mediocrity.

  15. Oh look, it’s the guy who kicked off the ladder after climbing it.


  16. A grand total of about 9 people in the world don’t want F1 to be open to new teams. And they all just happen to be either F1 team bosses or F1’s CEO….
    Not that it should matter to the CEO. Actually, he should be all for it.

    Says a lot about the inner workings of FOM and their Concorde Agreement.

  17. Haas has no tradition, no name, no nothing, so of course he doesnt want Andretti, a name synonimous with autoracing in the US to come in and make them the “other” US team from the get go.

    F1 will never look as interesting again with these 20 car grids. We Will always feel like the prime has passed. Yet here he is telling us there’s nothing good coming from more teams. Yeah, right.

    1. Haas has no tradition, no name, no nothing

      In Formula 1 specifically; they have been competing in NASCAR since 2002 with two drivers championships in the Cup Series to date.

  18. Perfect time for a new series. N/A engines with ‘sustainable fuel’ just to fend of naysayers for a bit. 600kg cars too, even less if possible. Open technical regs (not spec). Let’s go with a $25,000,000 budget cap. I don’t like budget caps, but just spit-balling.

    Either way… 600kg car with nice engines that speak culturally to race fans … and technical development would be fantastic. It’s quite amusing to me that we here all this talk of getting engineers into F1 and that from various backgrounds, but not real effort to actually expand the employment opportunities. Just more of this ladder lifting nonsense from F1. This kind of new series would provide a ton of jobs, real jobs.

    1. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to start a racing new series, regardless of the criteria, and maintain it for even a decade let alone grow it into something “successful” — I think very few people can and of those fewer still have the resources. The newest racing series that come to mind (Formula E and Extreme E) managed to ride the “green” wave and the novelty of racing electric vehicles. Perhaps if a “sustainable fuel” is viable (we will see in the near future in F1) then a technical partnership with an energy company could help balance the books in the short term.

      1. Formula E has spec chassis and is barely a spectacle. They are no quicker than a 250 Superkart (which happen to be awesome btw), and probably way less ‘green’ (I can probably put a whole grid of superkarts in one truck). Extreme E is, I don’t really know. Spec again, and thus there’s no interest. Bother series lack and kind of chutzpah. They are dull and lifeless.

        What I propose is to directly target F1. a 600kg (or less) car, with N/A engine that a large portion of the fans would pay good money to watch? And with each team building a car which gives media a LOT to write about. These things all start to add up. You can get a LOT of people on side very quickly. F1 is tanks that sound rubbish, it’s not a hard thing to market against. It’s an archaic business that’s restricting opportunities for young engineers. Once this ‘new’ series starts getting some charismatic driers, the tied can turn very quickly.

        It’s doable, certainly in an age of closed shop F1.

        Has anyone got the guts to do something though? That’s another question.

  19. ” So why take that risk if there is no upside?”
    No upside? There is nothing BUT upside if you are a fan of F1. The only downside is for the existing teams that stand to lose a few bucks. Cry me a river!

  20. The upside is competition. The upside is two more seats for young drivers. The upside is more excitement among F1 viewers. And if these does not justify adequately for upside, then clearly a non performing team can make way for a new team.

  21. @pinakghosh And more stories and opportunities. So many ‘big wigs’ today got their start well down the order at teams who could take ‘a punt’ on people and those people ultimately got to where they are now.

    Newey, Barnard, Brawn et al, the most interesting parts of their books are when they’re at the back, starting out with smaller teams and coming up with solutions to problems without using a cheque book. Minardi were universally loved and by default everyones ‘second team’ if not their first. It’s easy to say they only scored 38pts in 20 years, but each one of those points was a win not just for them, but everyone involved in the sport, Webber. They added more value to each point than any of the front runners could. Max and Lewis find 38pts down the back of the sofa.

    I struggle to accept that these teams didn’t add value to the sport. And Andretti have much more reason to not just be lapping at the back, they have the capacity (if done properly) to actually raise the funds and infrastructure. That might be their biggest problem for F1 teams keeping the gate locked.

  22. The teams themselves voted for the $200m “Dilution Fee”, but are now not adhering to to it.
    There is currently a “Rule” where any driver who does not qualify within 107% of the pole sitter is not allowed to compete in the race. As far as I am aware, this has not been enforced in recent times as there are not enough cars to realistically exclude any one.
    Solution – Add more teams.
    Drivers, Teams and commentators keep saying that F1 is entertainment. It should be treated as such. Provide entertainment for the fans, not base it on the bank accounts of the teams.

  23. Didn’t expect that from Steiner. Definitely a self serving comment.

  24. having Haas in F1 is ‘no benefit’

  25. Seems like Haas are worried they won’t be able to beat an Andretti/Cadillac squad.

  26. Mark in Florida
    12th February 2023, 2:18

    I generally like Guenther but he sounds like a mouth piece for Ferrari at this time. Haas hasn’t done much of anything in F1. They are lower class midfielder in my opinion. So I can only think that he’s fearful, that if Andretti comes in with GMs backing they will be relegated to also rans. Andretti is a serious racer who is dedicated to winning. Haas has only been dedicated to advertising the Haas Automation buisness, not the race winning buisness.

  27. Add teams, enforce 107% rule.

    For sure 12 teams are more fun than 10.. And we can all agree 14 is better than 8..

    At some point more is bad, but certainly we are nowhere near that number.

  28. “no benefit” except to the FANS! You know, those inconsequential nobodies whose money and attention are the essential support for F1.

  29. From his point of view he is right. But from outside F1 this statement is real selfish. Is it competition or not? If a new team enters and makes a better job than any existing team, then it deserves to be in F1, doesn’t it? Otherwise you have a quite easy job for just being lucky you already have been there.
    I think in midterm this will be a good thing having an american team, since the F1 is expanding in America. And you get kind of a rivalry with Ford, another important american brand. So it will be good for the show. It is the first time F1 makes a good job in america, so I thought there is kind of a strategy behind… ah, it is just about making some money now, not later… whatever F1!

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