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Haas close to quitting Formula 1 after Covid struck - Steiner

Haas close to quitting Formula 1 after Covid struck - Steiner

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Haas close to quitting Formula 1 after Covid struck - Steiner

Haas close to quitting Formula 1 after Covid struck - Steiner

Guenther Steiner has revealed it was "very difficult to see" Haas continuing in Formula 1 when the sport returned from the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The season was put on hold in March before F1 put protocols in place and a new calendar was created that has led to the remarkable 17-race campaign currently in progress.

The financial difficulties for Haas created by the virus, however, were laid bare ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend when it was announced Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen would leave the team at the conclusion of the season, with the former pointing to the search for 'pay-drivers' as a reason for their dismissal.

When asked if the Covid situation forced Haas' hand, Steiner explained how hard the team was hit during the early-season uncertainty.

"I would say Covid, just speaking for us, we were affected quite badly from it," said Steiner.

"First of all, the bad finish in the championship [last season] which lowered our budget, and then the reduced budget because of Covid didn't help. At some stage at the beginning of the year, it was very difficult to see if we would be back at all.

"We are back on our feet, we are signed for the next five years, we are not getting sold so I think now we have to build up again.

"That is part of trying to make the best decision of spending the money and thinking about spending where I think it is most needed for the future to secure a good future for the team.

"I have got a good plan in my head on how to do it. Some things take priority over others."

With Nikita Mazepin one of many touted for a seat, speculation has been rife that the Russian's father could potentially buy the team, although this has previously been vigorously denied by Steiner.

The Italian added the thought of selling never entered the equation, even when the team was in limbo ahead of the season.

"No, not selling," insisted Steiner. "We did not know what we were going to do and we had to come up with a plan to go forward. Selling never came in.

"It was, 'Do we go forwards or not?' Then once you decide that, you take the next step. If you are selling - and we are not - it has to be done like Williams, which was done in a very good way.

"You have to decide what you want to do and then make a plan and not just like people phoning up and talking about it. It was never about selling, it was discussed whether we go forward or not and Mr Haas decided to go forward."

Behind you go...

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