Haas team principal Guenther Steiner warns that a year without Formula 1 could result in his team being forced to drop off the grid for 2021.
The Haas team run on one of the smallest budgets in Formula 1, buying in as many components as the regulations permit, and Steiner says that a year without racing will hit the team hard.
“For sure there is a threat out there if there is no income, if there are no races this year, if we don’t get paid for it,” Steiner told Formula1.com. “There’s always a threat there, if we don’t come back. Giving it a percentage, I wouldn’t know what to do. I think it’s low, but I never would say never.
“We just need to be conscious of what we are doing and make sure we do the best and hope we go racing as soon as possible and we turn it into a positive, that needs all 10 teams to work on that and for F1 and FIA to collaborate with us to make sure that we are here.”
Ahead of the launch of the Haas VF-20, team founder and owner Gene Haas made it clear that a significant improvement on performance was required in 2020 if he were to keep the team on the grid into the new ear of regulations.
With the added financial pressures being placed in the team in the continued enforced shutdown, Steiner conceded that he is unsure how long Haas will be prepared to keep footing the bill without sponsorship or prize money.
“Like all of us, he doesn’t know what is coming in the near future, and whether or not we are having races [this year],” added Steiner. “He’s happy to wait longer, but like any businessman, you’re not happy to wait forever.
“Let’s hope over the next few months, we get a better view of the near future, hopefully the situation doesn’t stay as fluid as it is now. There is no one to be blame, it’s just the circumstances. At the moment, he can stay calm but at some stage he needs to make a decision.
“But at the moment he wants to see it through. We have furloughed people, and we didn’t let them go. It’s one of those things, we just need to make sure we make the right decisions in the future, which keeps him interested into the sport.”
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