Günther Steiner has said that Gene Haas has not entered Formula 1 to simply make up the numbers, asserting that being at the back of the grid in its debut season would not be acceptable.
NASCAR team co-owner Haas has established his own F1 team, which will make its debut at next March’s Australian Grand Prix.
The Haas F1 Team car will first head out on track in pre-season testing in Barcelona with drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez set to race during the season.
Given the difficulties faced by the latest trio of new teams in F1 – Manor, Caterham and HRT who all debuted in 2010, and the latter two are now extinct – there is an air of skepticism surrounding Haas’ entry.
However, the team is coming into the sport with greater backing and a racing history, prompting Steiner to be adamant that it is not joining the grid just to make up the numbers at the back.
“We are not here to be last,” Steiner told USA Today. “It sounds almost arrogant.
“I don’t want to be arrogant, but we will not [be] happy being last. Just participating is not what Gene or the team wants to do.”
Haas F1 Team will be the first American outfit to race in the sport since the unrelated Haas/Lola project back in 1986, and is enjoying a technical partnership with Ferrari ahead of its debut that was recently subject to an investigation by the FIA over aero testing regulations.