Haas boss Guenther Steiner believes that without a fundamental change to F1’s model in the next few years, he would see no point in remaining in the sport.
The advent of the hybrid in Grand Prix racing in 2014 and the ultra-sophisticated technology associated with its power units led to a growth in budgets, a state of affairs which in turn produced a divide among the teams.
Front-running and well-endowed outfits Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have pulled clear of their midfield rivals who simply don’t have the resources to challenge the unassailable trio.
Since taking over the sport, Liberty Media has embarked on a regulation overhaul that would level the playing field, with technical changes and a budget cap scheduled to be introduced in 2021, although the package has yet to be agreed upon by the FIA, F1 and the teams.
Steiner, whose team finished fifth in last year’s Constructors’ standings, is willing to be patient for another two years, but if significant change isn’t forthcoming after that deadline, the Italian team manager could throw in the towel.
“I think for two years, yes, it’s sustainable,” Steiner told Motorsport.com. “But long term: no, it gets old.
“If it doesn’t change at some point there’s no point to just be in it.
“The business as a business doesn’t work if you cannot take and feel the enjoyment of competing for podiums and wins. There’s no point to be here after a certain time, you know.
“Why would I waste my life working madly, day and night, flying to, I don’t know, 21 countries all around the globe, to know I can just do the same as I did last year? There is no point. No point.”
Short term, Steiner is targeting another year at the head of the midfield, and he believes Haas will have in 2019 a car that will allow it to at least repeat its performance from last season.
“When I look at the numbers, I’m sure we will have a good car,” he said. “But even last year I didn’t say anything about how good the others would be. Because I don’t know.
“We are happy with what we see, but considering the new rules, has anyone found something that we haven’t? How can I know?”
“We have to do a good job, as we did last year, and make a good car. There are no secrets.
“If someone does a little bit more than us, they will be ahead and we have to live with that. And we will try to catch them again.”
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