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Steiner: Customer team protection essential for F1's 2021 plans

Romain Grosjean Haas F1 2019

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner says Liberty Media's approach to ensuring customer teams can survive is essential for Formula 1's long-term future.

Rival F1 teams have pushed for outfits such as Haas to make more of its own parts, and the American team's closeness to Ferrari has led to friction with other squads.

F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn had told Sky that the Haas model was "interesting" and "very successful" and that it should be maintained to allow small teams to enter F1 and compete.

He then added: "There's some trimming we need to do about what they've been able to do but all credit to them, they took a model that was there, which nobody had exploited as much as they did, and it's a great story."

Steiner said that the backing of F1's ownership was important, but that it is right to be prioritising the long-term viability of the championship.

"I wouldn't say they are looking after us," said Steiner.

"I would rephrase that: they are looking after Formula 1.

"It is a bigger picture than us or another team.

"We are all egotistic obviously and somebody is a referee. They need to look after the business that we have enough teams here that can fight at an equal level.

Mercedes Ferrari F1 2019

"If you have got three teams that are two seconds ahead, then you have got teams that are two or three seconds behind - and another group of people who are two or three seconds behind them - what fun is that?

"How long can that exist?

"We need to close the gap and that is one of the ways to do it. If people like it, or not, they just need to do a better job. Then we are fine."

F1's 2021 rule package discussions have involved the listed parts that teams must make in order to prevent teams buying a significant amount of parts from a larger outfit.

There was a failed attempt to force teams into making their own suspensions.

But from 2020 teams must make their own brake ducts - an important factor in aerodynamic design.

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