Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has ridiculed back-fence talk in the F1 paddock about him suing the US outfit’s eponymous team owner Gene Haas for a lofty $900 million.
The rumor was fueled by monthly publication BusinessF1Magazine which claimed that Steiner believed that he was entitled to a 50% stake in the Haas F1 Team per an agreement with Gene Haas dating back to 2016, when the team first entered F1.
But Haas allegedly reneged on the deal, hence Steiner’s $900 million suit, which by some wacky financial metric reportedly represents half of the F1 team’s market value!
“I told Gene that I was supposed to be suing him for $900 million,” the Italian told veteran F1 reporter Joe Saward. “And he said: ‘Good luck with that!’.
“Where do these stories come from? Who makes them up?”
While there may well be some sort of underpinning agreement between Steiner and Haas that awards the team principal an interest in the US outfit, the idea of Haas gratuitously handing over half of the team’s ownership to Steiner – who receives a retainer for his management services – seems dubiously farfetched.
Haas is undergoing a difficult campaign this year with a car that continues to suffer from chronic tyre degradation issues.
The team is currently eighth in F1’s Constructors’ standings, just one point ahead of Alfa Romeo. But Steiner has given no indication that Haas is growing frustrated with his stewardship.
“I think it [Haas] has to be my passion project,” Steiner said in a recent interview with PlanetF1 in which he highlighted his strong relationship with Gene Haas.
“I started this team, I went out and found an investor. If I leave… I never wanted another job, I would have had other jobs before, but I didn’t want them.
“This was one thing I wanted to do. And it’s pretty cool to set up an F1 team in your lifetime. There are not many people doing that and, therefore, I feel committed to the people.
“We have got quite a few people here, who are still here from day one. I don’t get attracted by the neighbour’s greener grass.
“With Gene Haas, I know I have a very good boss, I’ve got a good relationship with him.
“He’s tough with me, but I’m tough with other people. So, if I do a bad job, I’m not afraid that he tells me.
“Not that he needs to tell me but, if he has a different opinion on it, I’m OK with it. I’m not getting upset about it.”
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