Haas team principal Guenther Steiner does not see Sauber’s close partnership with Ferrari as a threat to his own team’s relationship with the Scuderia.
Ferrari and Haas entered into a close technical partnership when the American outfit first joined Formula 1 in 2016, and that has ensured the sport’s newest team has been competitive from the outset. This season, Sauber enjoys title sponsorship from Alfa Romeo – another member of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – and has made a significant step forward courtesy of receiving the latest Ferrari power unit and gearbox, while former Ferrari chief designer Simone Resta recently became Sauber’s technical director.
Asked if Sauber’s closer relationship with Ferrari is a threat to Haas, Steiner told RACER: “No. I mean, we’re progressing as well so I have no problem. Why would it?
“We’ve got a very good relationship with them. It has worked now for four years, and we are very happy. They have no interest to make it worse because they are pretty happy with us. We pay our bills, we work hard, they see that. We try to make them proud with their customer engine so they are happy as well. I’ve got a good relationship with Maurizio [Arrivabene, Ferrari team principal] and Mattia [Binotto, Ferrari Chief Technical Officer], so there’s no problem.”
Both Ferrari customers have benefited from major improvements with the power unit this season, and Steiner says it is now the benchmark despite Mercedes having similar engine supply deals with Force India and Williams.
“I think they have done a great job,” he said. “They put us in a good spot with their work. I always said we believe in them, they’re doing a good job and now they are ahead of Mercedes.”