Haas wants clarification from Ferrari over its future Formula 1 plans by the end of next year in case it needs to find a new partner.
At present, Haas has a strong technical partnership with Ferrari that extends beyond a power unit supply deal, having utilized it to enter the sport in 2016. However, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne warned his team could quit if it is not happy with F1’s proposal for new power unit regulations after 2020, and Haas team principal Gunther Steiner wants to know if the threat is serious by the end of 2018.
Asked by RACER if Haas is established enough to be able to respond if Ferrari did pull out, Steiner replied: “You put it a lot too easy there!
“I hope we know by the end of next year what Ferrari is doing because we need to make decisions as well. We would not be ready to walk on our own, let’s say if you told me now Haas has to walk on its own next year, it would be very difficult, if not impossible.
“They are here next year anyway, I know that, but I don’t want to wait to the last minute to make a decision. If they make the decision I have to respect it. I have no vote in it but my hope is that they stay – but not only for being selfish, for the sport.”
Asked whether he felt such threats from Ferrari – as well as negative comments from Mercedes and Renault – are bad for F1, Steiner says the bigger picture should be what is good for the sport rather than Haas itself.
“I think I’ll leave that one to them – I don’t want to take any part in that battle. For sure they are fighting their corner, which they have to. I’m not involved in the Ferrari side or the Liberty side on that one and I don’t want any part of that battle, but for sure it would be a big loss for Ferrari.
“We’d have to find an engine… One door closes, another door opens, such is life. At the moment I’m not looking for alternatives to Ferrari, my hope and my belief is still that Ferrari will agree to stay on in F1 for the good of F1, not only for the good of us giving us an engine, and the same for Ferrari, that F1 helps them. So I hope they stay and we can continue to bring the sport up instead of bringing it down.”