Ex-Haas Team Principal Guenther has stated that Formula 1 is protecting Andretti from itself by denying it permission to form an 11th squad.
The commercial rights holders decided that Andretti's bid would not see it arrive competitively on the grid as the US outfit was hopeful of fielding a car for the 2025 campaign.
Andretti released its own statement shortly after F1's decision was made public and asserted that it remained committed to the project.
While the door has been closed on Andretti for 2025 and 2026, F1 declared it could revisit the bid in 2028 when General Motors could enter the sport as a Power Unit supplier.
Speaking to ESPN, Steiner stated that Andretti is being protected by F1 by opting to deny it an entry onto the grid.
"I think they looked at it and thought it was too ambitious," Steiner said.
"I don't have all the information. Maybe they looked at it and they said we want them but we want to make sure they are successful when they come, protect them from themselves.
"I think F1 is protecting all the teams, everyone involved in the sport, they didn't close the door completely.
“They said '28 is a new day, a new year, it's quite a few years away, it's not tomorrow but the door is open. Show us you can get prepared and be competitive by then and I think we'd welcome them".
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'F1 is not like football'
Steiner compared the situation to football's league relegation system, insisting that F1 has to be able to justify an additional entry as no similar punishment exists in racing.
"There's not an ideal number [of teams],” he said. “If you've got 11 or 12 very competitive teams, that's not bad, but also the commercial side of it needs to back it up.
“Just to have more teams, you need to share money with more people, which makes less for everybody. Then all of a sudden, even if you have 12 competitive teams, some will not end up with enough money and they will fall back.
“But then you have to keep these people around because they have the licence, because you cannot say you are not allowed.
"The thing with Formula 1 you do not have relegation... it's not like football. If in football you don't put the effort in and the financial means behind it, you are relegated and that's your destiny.
“But in Formula 1 once you're in you have the right to stay in... not forever, as nothing is forever, but for a long time. That is the difficult bit.”
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