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F1 | Guenther Steiner: Domenicali influenced the Haas F1 concept

Guenther Steiner, Haas Team Principal, explained the importance of Stefano Domenicali’s influence, the F1 current CEO, in creating the Haas team and developing their business model.

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F1 | Guenther Steiner: Domenicali influenced the Haas F1 concept
Fuente imagen: f1.com

A number of new teams have entered the world of F1 in recent years, but have failed to succeed in the sport, while the US team Haas F1 has been able to stand out during the championships and in 2021 is preparing to embark on its sixth season of Formula 1.

Arriving in F1, Haas had a business model different from all the others, in fact the team agreed a partnership with Ferrari from which it bought as much as possible.

In an interview left by Guenther Steiner with Motorsport.com, the Austrian reflects on the origins of the team and how he was involved with the USF1 team, which failed in 2009, in the F1's world.

"The idea came about in a very strange way,

"At the time, F1 had lost manufacturers like BMW, Toyota and Honda, while among those who wanted to join was USF1, which was based 15km from my home.

"I was introduced to the boss, Ken Anderson, because he needed my company to do some work for him. Bernie Ecclestone was calling me regularly, asking what was going on because the whole thing wasn't clear.

"Then one day I got a call from Chad Hurley, the main investor, who asked me what to do to get into F1, as I knew that world.

"The only solution I felt was to buy the cars that Dallara was building for Campos, but clearly there wasn't enough time to enter the championship. After a couple of days he told me to get in touch with Mr Dallara to discuss the matter."

The meeting between Steiner and Stefano Domenicali took place when the latter was the Ferrari Team Principal. Steiner was trying to help USF1 and wanted to know what Domenicali thought about the situation.

"One afternoon I had some free time, so I went to see Stefano Domenicali, to ask him what the F1 environment was like in those years and to understand more about it," Steiner explained.

"Stefano advised me against going ahead with Hurley because he understood that it wasn't a project with a solid foundation. But the idea of making an F1 team was already in my head, so I thought about it for a while.

"In those months there was talk of a third F1 team for potential customer teams, so after a while I called Domenicali back to propose a project structured in such a way as to have this car.

"He said: 'Find someone willing to invest seriously in racing and then we'll see.' So I started to contact people in the racing world, until I found someone who knew Gene Haas, who was involved in NASCAR at the time.

"We met and started talking about it, first distantly and then in detail. The negotiations lasted a year and eventually Gene was convinced to join, so he asked me to get him an entry.

"It's always difficult at the beginning, but once you find someone to finance the project, then it's just a matter of working on it to make it happen, doing it well and using the knowledge you have."

The link between Ferrari and Haas still perpetuates today and is always growing. In addition, the partnership was strengthened with the establishment of a Haas base in Maranello.

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