Despite struggling in Formula 1 since its 2016 debut, Haas F1 has remained in the competition thanks to the introduction of a budget cap, which team boss Guenther Steiner believes offers a chance to improve by leveling the playing field.
‣ Haas F1 has struggled to achieve its ambitions since entering Formula 1 in 2016, often finishing in the second half of the standings and facing significant setbacks.
‣ Despite the team’s performance, team boss Guenther Steiner has gained popularity and is in talks for his own TV show, largely due to the series Drive to Survive.
‣ The introduction of a budget cap in Formula 1 has been crucial for the survival of Haas F1, according to Steiner, as it levels the playing field for teams with smaller budgets.
‣ The budget cap, set to be $135 million for each team in 2024, has made Haas more attractive to sponsors and offers the chance for the team to improve its performance.
Haas F1 made its debut in Formula 1 in 2016. They had big dreams. But, after eight seasons, they’ve not achieved much. They’re still stuck in the second half of the F1 grid, where they’d hoped to make steady progress. The 2023 season was a major disappointment. Their car was a dud, and they finished last in the constructors’ championship.
But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. Haas F1 is still in the limelight, thanks to Guenther Steiner. He’s become a cult figure because of Drive to Survive. He’s even got a bestseller under his belt and is in talks for his own TV show. But without a certain change, Steiner and his crew would’ve been long gone from the F1 paddock.
‘Budget cap saved Haas F1’
Steiner confessed in a Speedcafe podcast that if Formula 1 hadn’t introduced a budget cap, Haas F1 would’ve been history. “A few other teams would’ve been gone too,” he said. “The gap was just too big. It was all about how much money you could spend.”
Haas had to tighten their belts. While teams like Mercedes and Red Bull Racing were splashing out four hundred million dollars a year, Haas had to scrape by with much less. This meant no development, poor performance, and sponsors jumping ship. It was a nasty cycle with no escape.
Then came the budget cap. Suddenly, teams like Haas had a fighting chance, at least on paper. This made them more appealing to sponsors. Sure, they’ve failed to make significant strides since then. But Steiner is hopeful. With a level playing field – teams can spend $135 million each in 2024 – there’s a chance for improvement.