Guenther Steiner continues to question why Formula 1 needs to accommodate an 11th team as Andretti continues talks with FOM. The Haas team principal represents the generally hostile attitude that new applicants have received from existing teams.
When Haas joined F1 in 2016, they had the smallest budget in F1 – this is still the case today. The American team earned plenty of affection from fans after scoring points on their debut, despite their deficit in resources and investment.
However, amidst this initial feel-good story, there are other hard-hitting truths. Since joining the sport, Haas has yet to score a race win or finish on the podium. They have also failed to finish above 8th in the standings, aside from their 5th-place finish in 2018.
This is worth mentioning because, according to Guenther Steiner, Andretti must prove its value to F1. Frankly speaking, Andretti and Cadillac have a far more compelling package to offer than what Haas did when they joined the grid.
Even now, Haas lacks the infrastructure to have any meaningful mid-season development – as shown again in 2023.
Despite all this, Haas’ team principal is unsure that F1 should expand the grid:
“I would like to look back to 2020 and remember sitting in those video conferences when the pandemic hit, and four teams asked themselves – Are we going to be here next year or not?
“We all fought and tried to stay alive. And a lot of people and team owners put their money where their mouth was – to survive and make Formula 1 what it is today.
“I think that, too, has value. I think most teams are asking themselves – when F1 is booming, why should we water down what we have just for someone else?”
The final months of 2023 should see negotiations between Andretti and Formula One Management evolve. There have been glimmers of hope for the American entry, although there is still a long way to go.
Ultimately, the opposition of teams complicates things – but it will not make entry impossible. The final decision is in F1’s hands and whether negotiations between the two parties are successful.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang