5 Formula 1

Günther Steiner is not particularly happy about the Haas exit, but is already looking to the future. © APA/afp / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Was Steiner's icon status his undoing?

The end for Haas team boss Günther Steiner came as a surprise, even if the last Formula 1 season did not go as planned. Even the Meraner himself didn't expect it. Ironically, the streaming documentary that made him so famous could be partly responsible for his demise.

The Netflix documentary “Drive to Survive” is a box office hit. One of the stars of the series is Günther Steiner, who inspires viewers with his open manner. The South Tyrolean has raised Haas to a new level of popularity, made himself a series icon and was able to attract new sponsors. But this popularity could now be Steiner's undoing, as it was for the portal speedweek has betrayed.

Apparently owner Gene Haas wasn't particularly happy that Steiner was more in the spotlight than himself. Steiner himself says: “It's possible that that played a role. But it was never about becoming famous for me. It is a fact that Haas benefited enormously from this and contacts with donors were made possible.” Officially, the reason for Steiner's exit was lack of success. “Gene said that he was ashamed that we as a team with good material from partner Ferrari couldn’t get past last place,” said Steiner.

“Without my work, Haas could have closed in 2020.” Gunther Steiner

The South Tyrolean ex-team boss, who lives in Meran and the USA, repeatedly offended with his direct manner - including German fan favorite Mick Schumacher. In terms of sport, the Haas team's performance was characterized by chronic financial difficulties. Steiner says: “It is obvious that without my work we could have closed in 2020. I could blame Gene Haas now, but what difference would that make? He is the owner and is free to decide what he wants to do.”

So leaving Steiner wasn't voluntary, but the 58-year-old is already looking ahead: “I can offer a lot as a specialist. Now I'll see what happens. In the meantime, I’m enjoying time with my family.”

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