Steiner calls on F1 to put current teams first

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-18.
© XPB 

Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner says that Formula 1 must put the needs of its current line-up of teams ahead of attracting newcomers to the grid.

Steiner felt that had been too much focus on expanding the grid beyond the current ten-team, 20-car line-up, and not enough on making sure that existing teams were able to survive.

His objection came after Force India was placed into administration during the Hungarian Grand Prix. The financial situation at the venerabel Williams team has also been causing concern in the F1 paddock.

“Everybody says we should have 11 and 12 teams," Steiner told Autosport magazine. "There are ten teams struggling to stay alive, so why do we worry about the 11?

“Should we not worry to keep the 10 here in business? Let’s be realistic, it's not always about ‘Oh we want more’.

"First of all we have to save Force India," he insisted. "Then at the end of 2020, when all the old teams are stable, well served and they are all safe, then we can see.

"You can race with 18 cars but I think 10 teams is a very healthy number. I’d rather have 20 strong cars than somebody who shouldn’t be here.

"I think we should look after the 10 teams we have," he said.

Steiner added that Force India was "a team which deserves to be here", but he added that he wasn't against more teams joining in the future once the situation had improved for all the teams.

"“There are more licenses out there, it could be possible to do that. I’m not against it," he said.

"[But] there’s no point to having 11 in and then a year after, two of the 11 go away and then you’re down to nine again.

"When all the old teams are stable, well served and they are all safe, then we can see."

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Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and TwitterHaas F1 Team, Guenther Steiner