Guenther Steiner: Where is the Ex-Haas Team Principal Now?

If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Italian-American motorsport engineer and former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has had quite an interesting career trajectory. The truth is this South Tyrol native had dreams of becoming a machinist from a young age, which is why he chose to drop out of college despite studying engineering when he got an early break. He actually relocated to Belgium in 1986, where he kickstarted his career in the World Rally Championship for Mazda Rally Team Europe, only to then gradually rise up the rallying series ladder.

According to reports, Guenther did such incredible, unwavering work that he went from being a mere motor mechanic at Mazda to assistant team manager at Top Run Srl within three short years. He then served as head of reconnaissance turned technical manager at Jolly Club from 1991 to 1996, that is, until he got an opportunity to lead Prodrive’s Allstar Rally team from 1997 onwards. Thus came this experienced specialist’s M-Sports project manager recruitment in 1998, leading to his push to Ford Rally’s director of engineering in 2000 as well as shift to Formula One in 2001.

Guenther subsequently did a stint at both Jaguar (2001-2003) and Red Bull (2005-2008) as either team principal, technical director, or both before ultimately deciding to take a break in 2008. He’d actually settled down in Mooresville, North Carolina, by this point with his loving wife plus daughter, so that’s also where he later ended up launching his manufacturing firm, Fibreworks Composites. However, by 2014, this entrepreneur was ready to return to F1 and was hence glad when Haas approached for team principal — a position he held right from their debut season until early 2024.

Guenther Steiner Hasn’t Left Formula One Behind

In Guenther’s own words, he was told his principal contract was not being renewed by top management in any manner for the 2024 season by Team Owner plus Chairman Gene Haas himself. He candidly revealed in January, “It was a phone call. Gene called me and said that he doesn’t want to extend the contract, which was up at the end of the season, and that was it. I don’t know [if it was a surprise]. It’s always a little bit of a surprise, but then, in the end, he owns the team, he can do what he wants, and it’s his decision. “I think [whether a change was needed] can be answered only in time.”

Guenther even expressed, “I didn’t have the chance to say thank you to a few people when I left Haas F1. I would just like to thank all the team members which I couldn’t give a proper goodbye [to] when I left. I want to say also thank you to all the fans who supported Haas while I was there … [and] thank you to everybody for the support… I’m getting now. It stung [not being able to say goodbye to the team], but they all know me, and that I still appreciate what they did. It would be nice to say, ‘Hey guys, thanks for all that you did’, because the team started very small, running on adrenaline a lot of times, and they did a good job. Obviously it doesn’t make you happy not saying thank you, but I think I did it now.”

As for Guenther’s current standing, starting from the 2024 F1 season itself, he’ll be serving as a permanent expert at RTL Germany, where he’ll analyze all rounds on all broadcast race weekends. In a sincere statement, he recently said, “Formula 1 is competition at the highest level, on the racetrack and in the paddock. How should the drivers’ performance be evaluated, and what does that mean for the organizations behind them? I look forward to examining these processes with this strong on-air team and sharing my analyses of the racing events.” This ‘Surviving to Drive: A Year Inside Formula 1’ author plus family man had already made it clear he now wanted to do something that challenged him instead of just allowing him to stay close to F1, so this punditry role truly seems ideal.

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