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Guenther Steiner

Steiner: Manufacturer influx won't stop customer teams succeeding

The question of whether Formula 1 teams can only succeed as 'works' outfits has come up again, after Aston Martin signed an engine deal with Honda for 2026.

Magnussen Baku
To news overview © XPBimages

Aston Martin's works engine deal with Honda for 2026 signifies an important step for the team, as it looks to compete regularly for championships.

The new power unit regulations coming in for 2026 will see more focus on the MGU-K, due to the removal of the MGU-H, and the introduction of fully sustainable fuels.

Six manufacturers will join the grid including Audi, who will partner Sauber, and Red Bull Powertrains who will link up with Ford.

While there are obvious benefits to becoming a works outfit in the current competitor order, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes that customer teams can still thrive and achieve success.

"What engines do Aston Martin run? Mercedes. Where is Aston Martin? They are in front of Mercedes at the moment," he said to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"While you are all thinking that will change the future, you always have to live in the reality as well.

"There is a good chance that the customer team can do better than the works team like it is happening right now."

Steiner: Uncertainty over 2026 power units will shake up competition

Steiner believes that the uncertainty over how competitive each powertrain will be in 2026 will shakeup the order.

"In 2026 there is six engine manufacturers and there could be two or three which do a worse job. But if you're with the right manufacturer, you are in front of the other one," he added.

"So there are pros as well to being a customer. If you go out there and make your own engine and the engine is not good, what have you achieved then? So I think it's all open.

"You can dream up a lot of scenarios which could and should happen, but the fact is, at the moment, a customer team is beating the works team. And not a bad works team by the way!"


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