Guenther Steiner has now explained the one condition that he will demand to return to Formula 1 following Haas deciding against renewing their team principal’s contract.
The American-owned team confirmed last week that director of engineering, Ayao Komatsu, had replaced Steiner at the helm. He had overseen Haas’ Formula 1 team since their entry in 2016. But a disappointing 2023 season tempted team owner Gene Haas to target new ideas.
Steiner had even led the Haas ship for years before they arrived in F1 having helped to bring the team into existence. But last year’s plight marked their second-worst season so far. Haas ended the campaign 10th and last in the constructors’ championship with a mere 12 points.
Only in 2021 when they scored zero points at all had Haas ended a season last in the teams’ standings. A failure to produce successful upgrades played a vital part in their struggles over the 2023 season. Haas even ran split set-ups over the last rounds to gauge their upgrades.
Now, Steiner is seeking a new job for the first time in a decade as Komatsu looks to get Haas back up the grid. But the Italian engineer will not jump at the first offer that comes his way. Instead, Steiner wants to take ‘a few months’ away before finding a job that challenges him.
“At the moment, I just want to chill out a little bit,” Steiner said, via quotes by the Mirror. “It was 10 tough years, and I’ve got plenty of stuff to do. There is plenty to clean up at home.
“It is also good to stay with the family. My daughter is 14 years old and so she is quite demanding. Trying to manage that seems to be more difficult than running an F1 team at the moment. So, I’ll be doing this for a few months.
“If there’s something interesting and which challenges me, yes [I’ll return to Formula 1]. But just looking for a job just to stay in F1? Maybe that’s not what I want.”
Steiner has spent the best part of the last 23 years involved in Formula 1 in some aspect. He first arrived in the paddock after joining Jaguar as their team principal in 2001 and oversaw the project through 2002. Steiner also worked at Red Bull in 2005 as their technical director.
He left Red Bull’s F1 team to work in Nascar and add another motorsport discipline to his CV. Steiner began his motorsport career as a rally engineer in 1986 before holding leading roles through the 1990s. He even worked with Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz in Ford’s WRC team.
Steiner was M-Sport’s director of engineering whilst the legendary rally duo drove for Ford’s factory WRC effort. So, he may now explore another new challenge outside of F1 and clearly has the knowledge to. But it remains to be seen if Steiner is done with F1 after leaving Haas.