Guenther Steiner has revealed there were four principal reasons why owner Gene Haas opted to commit his team to Formula 1's new Concorde Agreement.
All 10 teams signed the deal last week, binding them, the FIA and commercial rights holders Liberty Media to the sport for the next five years beyond this season through to 2025.
For struggling Haas, the move was pivotal as it has appeared to allay concerns for now as to whether Haas would continue in F1 into 2021 and beyond.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision to sign up, Steiner said: “I guess Gene looked at it, and Formula One’s still a very good tool for getting his brand name, Haas Automation, out in the world. It works otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it, and he loves the sport as well.
"Even if it is a big financial commitment, with the new regulations coming in, it should make the playing field more even and the commercial aspects better for the smaller teams, so as a result, he has decided to continue.
"For me, it means, even at the moment when we’re not running competitively, we’ve got a Formula One team which works, and that’s more down to the team than to me.
"I’m part of the team though, we all work together, and in the end, Gene believes in the team. Everybody is, for sure, happy to be moving forward now with the agreement signed.”
Steiner has warned, though, that despite the new agreement, coupled with the introduction of the budget cap from next season, and with the smaller teams receiving an improved share of F1's prize fund, the playing field will not immediately even itself out.
"Just maybe not in the first year, but in the mid-term for sure," added Steiner.
"The payments, to make it more equal, will also mean the smaller teams get a little more revenue. It’s never enough for the small teams by the way, but it levels the field and that should be the aim of a sport – any day, anybody can win.
"It’ll take a while until that happens but for Formula One it’s a big step in the right direction. Times change and I think Liberty did a great job in adapting to those times and making changes when it was needed. It was needed a few years ago, but it’s better late than never.”
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