Guenther Steiner has assessed a potential grey area for new teams looking to enter F1, regarding the possible use of the wind tunnel.
There has been talk of several new outfits expressing interest in entering the sport, ranging from Andretti and Panthera to HiTech and Formula Equal, the details of which were previously revealed by RacingNews365.com.
While these teams have expressed their interest, they have not yet been accepted for entry. However, there has been speculation that some may have started to develop concept cars using wind tunnels from current teams.
When asked by RacingNews365.com if these rumours raised any concerns about the possibility of crossover or 'grey areas' in the development regulations, Haas boss Steiner suggested that it would be difficult to prevent a new team from doing something given that they are not officially in Formula 1.
Steiner on possible grey area for new F1 teams
"As you said, it's clearly rumours. I have no facts if they're doing it or not, and therefore I don't want to expand too much on it," Steiner explained.
"If the rules are like this, that you need to get into the rules of wind tunnel runs only when you are registered and when you've got the licence, I think they are free to do that.
"I mean, we cannot say you're not allowed to do something if you're not even part of Formula 1. Because if you're not part of it, it doesn't mean that you will be part, you take it on a risk, or an opportunity to do development.
"So, I have no big opinion about that, that they shouldn't be doing what they are doing. Because by the rules, they're allowed to do it.
"So, we make the rules and how can you stop somebody who is not in Formula 1 to do anything? Because I think that will be outside of the scope we have entitled to demand."
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Backing of the FIA
Giving his thoughts on the same topic, Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer expressed his confidence that the issue will be managed by the FIA.
"[It's] really hard for me to comment. I don't know what the others are doing or the entrants or possible entrants," Szafnauer said.
"So it's hard to know, but I trust that the FIA, who are running the process of the new entrants, are also looking at the rules and regulations and what they're allowed to do from an aerodynamics standpoint and what they're not allowed to."
Steiner also suggested that he is not worried by the possibility of information from any wind tunnel usage by a new team 'leaking' across to the owner.
"The FIA keeps a close eye on that one, so I'm not too concerned," he added.
"And obviously now with all this… We hear the rumours, the FIA hears the rumours and I'm sure they are going to check now, especially as you brought it up now in the press
conference, I think they have to do it now.
"So I'm not too concerned about it, that there is not a good eye on it."
Previously, a loophole existed which allowed for a new team to develop without restrictions until the new season, but that loophole was closed after Haas arrived into the sport in 2016.
It would only come into effect if a team is accepted as a new entrant. Until then it is open, meaning that the FIA would have to control this, hence why the issue was raised by RacingNews365.com in the press conference.
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