DECEMBER 5, 2023

F1 must not try to slow Verstappen down says Steiner

Formula 1 must not implement any special measures to try to slow Max Verstappen's dominance.

Max Verstappen, Abu Dhabi GP 2023
© Red Bull

That is the view of Gunther Steiner, boss of the team at the exact opposite end of the grid to Red Bull.

At the beginning of the season, it looked like it was going to be a good season for us, said Steiner, team principal of the Gene Haas-owned small American outfit Haas.

Five months later we thought it was going to be a sh*t season, he admitted. "We just couldn't find any speed in the car. When we realised that, it was already too late.

That's our fault, it's that simple. We didn't realise in time that something was wrong, added Steiner, whose top driver Nico Hulkenberg has been recently critical of Haas' stalled development curve in 2023.

I'm not happy either, he insists. You can't be happy with tenth place.

So with Haas finishing dead last, Steiner says Haas cannot get involved in any discussions about how to bring Red Bull's closest rivals closer to the pace for the sake of F1.

We have other goals, he told Ziggo Sport. "We want to get back into the midfield. Our goal is not to beat Max.

It is more of a general question whether it is good for the sport that someone dominates so much, Steiner added. And I think that the others have to improve.

Some believe F1 and the FIA should take measures to ensure a more competitive sport, but Steiner does not agree.

You can never blame the winner for being too good, he said. "I firmly believe in that - if someone else does better than you do, don't blame him for being so good.

You can't do anything wrong to Max, but instead you have to make sure you improve yourself. There are many teams with the same qualities and the same infrastructure and the same number of personnel as Red Bull, Steiner added.

Obviously we are not on that list, but there are some teams that should be able to do it. It is not the case that this dominance will continue indefinitely.