Reaching 150 starts is a tribute to commitment of Gene Haas – Steiner

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team has reached its 150th start thanks to the dedication of its founder, Gene Haas.

Out of the last 10 new teams to enter Formula 1 only two are still running. Haas remains under the same identity it entered in 2016, while 1997 entrants Stewart later became Jaguar before Red Bull took them over.

Haas started its 150th race in last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. Steiner said it had reached the milestone thanks “mostly to the commitment from Gene Haas,” particularly after the team faced financial difficulties during to the Covid-19 pandemic three years ago.

“In 2020 it was not all fine,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “F1 was a different place in 2020 when the pandemic started.

“I think in the end he believed in us and he stuck to it. That is why we survived, I would say, and maybe somebody else wouldn’t. So that is number one that I think.”

The team broke new ground when it arrived in F1 by exploiting rules allowing it to source parts from another entry – in their case Ferrari – to a greater extent than had been done before.

“Compared to the other teams I wouldn’t say we did a better job, we did it differently, which we were critiqued [for] in the beginning,” Steiner continued. “But it was, I think, the only way to make a new team survive and I think we recognised it and realised it and did it that way.

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“So I think we have to take some of the credit as a team and Gene was part of all that idea as well, credit for that as well, because if we would have just done what the other ones did, just more of it, maybe we wouldn’t be here anymore. I always said just doing more of the same doesn’t make you successful, you need to do something better.

Felipe Massa, Kevin Magnussen, Interlagos, 2022
Sprint race pole at Interlagos was a highlight for Steiner
“It’s difficult in here to do something better because all the other nine teams they are pretty smart people. If you think you’re smarter than them, your ego needs to be pretty high or you need to be highly intelligent. And I don’t think I’m that!”Steiner said what stood out most from that time was more the fact of their survival than their peak results.

“What stands out is that we are still around,” he said. “A lot of new teams are not around anymore, or nobody is around anymore. I think that’s the biggest thing which stands out. We are the youngest team and we are still here and I think we are getting stronger. I think that’s the most outstanding thing.

“Of moments, obviously, our pole last year stands out. That is something which stands out as a high. Finishing fifth in [the championship in] 2018 stands out.”

Of course there is no better place to reach a landmark than Monaco, although on Sunday niether of Haas’s cars completed the full race distance.

F1’s growing calendar in recent years, the pandemic-affected 2020 season aside, means Haas have packed their 150 starts into little over seven-and-a-quarter seasons. It would have taken more than nine seasons to achieve the feat in the 1990s, and over eight-and-a-half seasons in the 2010s.

While Haas’s F1 team is little over seven years old, it has now been around longer than the most enduring of the start-up teams that joined the grid in 2010 and will soon surpass Toyota as F1’s longest-lasting constructor set up in the 21st century.

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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7 comments on “Reaching 150 starts is a tribute to commitment of Gene Haas – Steiner”

  1. Being this weak operationally after 150 starts is a tribute to Günther and Gene’s missing drive to do more than just show up and participate.

    It’s embarrassing.

  2. The fact that Gunther opposes Andretti, presumably because they might be competitive (or at least try to be). Is just kind of sad to be honest.

    How can they expect people to give Gene a round of applause for deciding to not walk away? I think I’ve seen Gene at about 5 Grand Prix in the last two years.

  3. @proesterchen Well they have certainly impressed a very important person. None other than McLaren CEO Zak Brown!!
    He’s not in favour of the Andretti thing at all @bernasaurus. .
    Again from elsewhere

    McLaren CEO Zak Brown has called upon prospective new teams to follow Haas’ example in establishing themselves in F1.

    Don’t choke on your cornflakes

    1. Is that the same Zak Brown who hasn’t managed to turn McLaren into an even remotely competitive team in the 6 1/2 years he’s been with the company?

      1. I believe so , also the same as the one who engineered a failure on both sides of the Atlantic on the same weekend!
        Impressive stuff.
        But he has two, yes not one but two future F1 drivers in his team.
        Now to find car and a team that knows…… well anything.
        He’ll still be there overseeing it all like a loving father.

  4. The changes to the pay-out of commercial rights revenue to poorly performing teams has to be a big factor in keeping Haas around. Haas outsources as much as they can, so it’d be interesting to see if it actually costs them anything to run this team. That they’re quite vocal about opposing new entries probably is a clue that they don’t want to dilute that money flow.

    I’m not sure what Haas gets out of being in F1. They’re doing nothing for US drivers, and they’ve finished every season either 8th or worse – with one exception in 2018, where they finished 5th; which was also the most competitive season Ferrari has had since 2012.

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