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Guenther Steiner

Steiner reveals which F1 boss helped Haas get off the ground

While US F1 never got the chance to take the Formula 1 grid, the team's failure to get off the ground played a big part in getting Haas in the sport according to Guenther Steiner.

Article
To news overview © Haas F1

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has shared some insight into how the team got off the ground, crediting new Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali for helping with the outfit's business model.

The American team have become a fixture on the grid since their debut back in 2016, striking up a deal with Ferrari to buy what they could from the Italian team. Steiner revealed he first looked into getting into Formula 1 when US F1 looked set to enter in 2009.

The 55-year-old spoke with team principal Ken Anderson and main investor Chad Hurley, but ultimately it was a talk with Domenicali that helped show Steiner the way.

"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 told Autosport. "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."

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