Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says he believes owner Gene Haas has every intention of staying in Formula 1 under the new Concorde Agreement.
Guenther Steiner says he believes the direction of negotiations regarding the new Concorde Agreement for the teams should convince team boss Gene Haas to stay in Formula 1.
The Concorde Agreement governs the commercial arrangements reached between all the Formula 1 teams and the sport’s owners, with the current Agreement expiring at the end of 2020.
None of the current teams are currently confirmed as signing the new Concorde Agreement yet, although it’s not expected that any of them will pull out. Haas, as a customer team emerging from a very tough 2019 both on and off-track, are one of the possible risky teams, especially as rumours have emerged that Gene Haas has grown tired of Formula 1 and may look to sell his team.
However, with Formula 1’s long-awaited budget cap being introduced in 2021 – a measure introduced with the intent of levelling the playing field by curbing the spending of the top teams – Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says he’s optimistic that the team are here to stay.
“I think the budget cap is a good thing for the sport in general, even if it is not completely equal with everybody,” he told Formula1.com on Thursday.
The budget cap will be $145 million in 2021, a figure that Steiner says won’t be difficult for the small, independent team to stay under.
“We know that we will still be under the budget cap but it is a very good step.” Steiner continued. “Now the difference will not be $150m to the big teams but maybe $20m which is a very good step.”
“There is a also the chance to break even in the future. You need to do a good job, that you break even.. Some people can for sure make money on it. The big teams, if they can keep the sponsorship they have got, and distribution of the prize fund will be a lot more equal in the new commercial agreement, there is a chance to do that.”
“That needs to be my aim, to make it breakeven for Mr Haas.” Steiner said. “If I make that happen, for sure he will sign the Concorde Agreement. We haven’t yet seen the [final] Concorde Agreement or the Commercial Agreement. We roughly know what it looks like.
“It should come in the next weeks or months, I don’t know exactly when, but obviously FOM had to wait to get all the new budget caps through, so it took steps back, but it will come.”
“Once we have got it, then Mr Haas can decide what he wants to do but at the moment, his intention is stay within the sport, but before it is signed, I cannot say this is what is going to happen. The team, to remind everybody, is owned 100% by him so he can make the decisions and we will go from there but I’m very positive about it, where we are now.
“We are getting through this difficult period with the coronavirus pretty well at the moment. We’re doing the right things, we’re living within our means, and I think Haas is here to stay.”