So far this year, Haas F1 Team has pulled themselves up from the back of the grid and into the midfield fight, returning to their impressive form in 2017-18.
Kevin Magnussen has been the American outfit’s sole points scorer this year, securing a brilliant P5 finish in Bahrain before bringing home points in Jeddah and Imola. Mick Schumacher hasn’t had the same success, currently a step or two behind his Danish counterpart, but it feels only a matter of time until both Haas drivers become points finishers.
The team’s on-track renaissance, however, is perhaps not as spectacular as Haas F1’s overhaul beyond the grid. Just weeks before the final pre-season test in Bahrain, Haas found themselves with a decision to make; Maintain Nikita Mazepin and his sponsors amidst incoming sanctions that could jeopardise both parties or part ways.
Haas chose the latter, cutting ties with Mazepin and (in what can be described as a masterstroke with hindsight) signing Kevin Magnussen on a multi-year deal.
Guenther Steiner has said previously that Haas does not face severe financial hardship, and was never reliant on Uralkali to remain in F1. In fact, Gene Haas has revealed that the team have often operated with a loss, though Mr Haas has always maintained that Haas F1’s impact on the wider company Haas Automations has been positive enough to compensate.
Still, despite this re-affirmed sense of financial stability (likely been helped by F1’s budget cap), Haas could use a financial injection just as much as any team. With this in mind, Haas is considering a variety of sponsorship propositions.
Guenther Steiner spoke to motorsport-magazin.com about Haas’s current position:
“We are in a safe position at the moment. It makes no sense to quickly push through something…
Now we need good commercial decisions in the medium and long term”.
Haas’s Team Principal has stressed that whilst Haas have received interest from sponsors, the team wants a good “medium and long term” partner and in search of this, Haas are in no rush.
Guenther Steiner knows all too well about ugly sponsorship deals, having signed to retrospectively poor agreements with the now infamous Rich Energy.
With the complications from the team’s last two title sponsors, Haas will employ caution and patience before making a decision on their next move.
However, the good news for Haas is they now have leverage, currently boasting competitive machinery in a series only growing in popularity, including Haas F1’s native US soil.