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Guenther Steiner

World Champion reacts to Steiner exit: 'A huge loss for F1'

Guenther Steiner suffered a shock exit from the Haas Formula 1 team earlier this week, with 1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill labelling it a major loss for the sport.

Steiner Austria
To news overview © XPBimages

1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill has stated that Guenther Steiner's departure from the Haas squad is a “huge loss” for the sport.

Haas announced on Wednesday that Steiner would not continue in his Team Principal role for the upcoming campaign.

Steiner has been at the helm of the Kannapolis-based outfit since it joined the grid in 2016.

However, a number of difficult years, including two bottom-of-the-standings finishes in three years, resulted in Gene Haas making a change at the helm of the team.

Steiner had gained in popularity over the last handful of seasons and became a favourite among fans, largely owing to being outspoken on Netflix's Drive To Survive docu-series.

“Guenther became a bit of a celebrity thanks to the famous Netflix series and the behind-the-scenes filming of him,” Hill told Sky Sports.

“He’s a huge character, very decisive, very confident and sure of what he’s saying. Maybe that’s part of the mix.

“He wants to win, I don’t know the real reason behind the departure but it’s a big loss to the sport because fans liked him, he attracted people, he was outspoken but maybe didn’t get the results that Gene Haas [team owner] wanted.

'He was getting a lot of attention'

Late last year, it was reported by entertainment outlet Deadline that Steiner was set to be the focus of a CBS comedy show.

The news followed the launch of Steiner's book, Surviving To Drive which accounted a year inside the Haas F1 team from the Italian's perspective.

Hill has suggested that Steiner's projects outside of his duties as Team Principal became too much for Gene Haas.

“Guenther was actually one of the masterminds of putting the whole thing together, Gene was really the investor,” Hill stated.

“You could say it was his team, but he didn’t own it. He was getting a lot of attention, [that were potential] distractions.

“They were talking about this TV series they were planning and perhaps that was too much for some people.

“As a Team Principal, your primary job and focus has to be on what you do. But it wasn’t his fault that he was popular and he became a celebrity.”

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