In an exclusive interview with Guenther Steiner, the Haas F1 Team Principal, we delved into his dynamic relationship with Gene Haas, the rapid evolution of Formula 1, the challenges facing the sport, and a glimpse into the human side of this adrenaline-fueled sport.
A Partnership Built on Trust:
In our conversation, Guenther opened up about his evolving relationship with team owner Gene Haas. Through the ups and downs of Formula 1, one thing has remained constant: Gene provides Guenther with full control of the Haas F1 team. "He [Gene] lets me get on with the stuff I need to get on with," Guenther remarked. Their trust and collaboration have been pivotal in Haas’ F1 journey.
The pace of change in Formula 1 is nothing short of remarkable. Guenther discussed the incredible speed at which technology and car development have evolved in the sport. Comparing cars from just a few years ago to today's models, he emphasized the constant push for innovation that makes Formula 1 a unique and ever-evolving motorsport. He also reflected on the growing popularity of the sport in North America. He noted, “In the USA… the last 20 or 30 years it wasn't a real sport, but now since 3-4 years it's picking up and I don't think we have reached a pinnacle yet in the US.”
Guenther also addressed the various hurdles confronting Formula 1. Among these, he emphasized the crucial importance of accurately gauging viewership, particularly in an era dominated by streaming platforms. Furthermore, he acknowledged the unique challenges posed by the dominance of a single driver, exemplified by figures like Max Verstappen. He elaborated, “It's not ideal, but it is still an interesting championship.” Guenther emphasized that Formula 1 offers much more than just race results; it's a narrative filled with compelling stories beyond the winner's circle.
Equal Treatment for Teams:
During our interview, we discussed a hot take that the FIA treats smaller teams differently than some of the larger teams. Guenther's honest insights hint at the complexity of this issue, suggesting that the size and influence of a team may indeed sway the FIA's decisions, although not always consciously. It highlights the challenges smaller teams face in asserting themselves within the sport's regulatory landscape. Guenther also cited his own experience of being fined for candid remarks and suggested that if someone like Toto Wolff had made the same comments, the outcome might have been different.
More to Come:
Further, Guenther delved into the fascinating world of his book. He emphasized that the aim was to create a book that anyone, regardless of their familiarity with Formula 1, can enjoy and understand. Moreover, he hinted at the prospect of a second book, assuring that it would be different from the first, keeping things fresh and exciting.
Guenther also embarked on a nostalgic trip down memory lane, sharing a remarkable story. He reflected on idolizing the legendary Niki Lauda as a kid in the 70s, despite their differing nationalities. Lauda's incredible journey from obscurity to becoming a hero in the world of Formula 1 left an unforgettable mark on Guenther. The sheer astonishment of receiving a phone call from the Austrian racing icon, inviting him to dinner is a moment that Guenther treasures deeply. This touching recollection reminds us that life can hold unexpected surprises, even for those who grew up with modest means and dreams beyond imagination.
Off the Track:
Lastly, Guenther shared a glimpse into his life off the track. He's a simple and down-to-earth individual who cherishes spending time with his family. Surprisingly, he admitted to having a soft spot for shopping at Walmart. It's a fascinating insight into the ordinary life of a man who leads a dynamic racing team, in an extraordinary global sport.
Guenther Steiner's journey in Formula 1 is a testament to dedication, trust, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. As he navigates the ever-changing world of motorsport, it's clear that he's not just a team principal but also a genuine, down-to-earth person who appreciates life's simple pleasures.
STREAM FULL EPISODE: Guenther Steiner Interview