British Grand Prix – Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says that the ongoing internal dispute at Rich Energy hasn’t bothered him as the team have kept things professional.
The Haas team have been embroiled in speculation this weekend surrounding their title sponsor Rich Energy, who appear to be in the midst of a power struggle. CEO William Storey, majority shareholder, is believed to have been ousted from executive duties and control of the company but retains control of the Twitter account.
In a letter released by Rich Energy yesterday, lawyers acting on Haas’ behalf questioned the minority shareholders on how they planned to wrest control of the company from Storey, as well as calling into question the solvency and viability of the company.
Away from F1, Rich Energy are also embroiled in a UK intellectual rights court case with British cycling manufacturer Whyte Bikes, with the company seeking to have Rich Energy wound up after failing to pay them 35 thousand pounds as ordered by the courts.
Haas and Guenther Steiner have remained largely tight lipped about the ongoing problems with their title sponsor, with Storey’s Twitter saying that the sponsorship deal with Haas has been terminated and the company’s minority shareholders saying that they want to continue with the F1 team.
Steiner opened up about it on Saturday evening at Silverstone, saying that Haas don’t want to get involved in the power struggle: “We are not in control of what Rich Energy do internally. Neither do we want to be! We don’t want to be part of that, our hands are full enough! They are sorting that out and the team that wants to take over – they want to continue with us. That’s what we will be talking in the next few weeks about – how and if we continue with them.”
Asked about whether he is uncomfortable with the situation, he said: “It’s not even uncomfortable because I don’t know what’s coming next, I’m not in control. It’s nothing to do with us, and while I wouldn’t say that I don’t care because that would be diligent. It is what it is, we will work at it. We will do our best and I don’t want control of anything that’s happening.”
When it was put to him that Haas could be considered as having its image damaged by the association with the company, Steiner laughed and said: “Do you think we’re damaged? What have Haas done wrong? How can you damage Haas if we haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t think we’re damaged – it’s not our fight.”
“There’s a clear line between us, they pay us for advertising and we do our job. I don’t think we are damaged as a team because we are integral as a company. We have done everything to the book, we actually get a good reputation as we haven’t reacted. Even with controversy outside of us, we are not doing things anything we shouldn’t be doing. We are professional and keep out of things we don’t control. We just go along with what happens and deal with that.”
“We are keeping our side of things and, if they have a problem, so be it.”
“They know they need to agree amongst themselves how to go forward, and I have no comment or knowledge on that. And I don’t need to know.”
“It takes a lot to give me a headache!”