Dubai: Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, who will be qutting Ferrari at the end of the season, is himself the best judge to know if he needs to take a break from the sport - according to Guenther Steiner, team principal of the Haas Formula One Team.
“I think he should stay [in Formula One], he’s a big part of the sport, he’s very young… He needs to know if he’s still motivated to do it, because Formula One burns you out and I don’t know if he’s had enough of it or wants to take a break… A lot of drivers have done that one lately, so maybe that is what he decides. Take a break, see what is happening and then maybe getting fully motivated again and then come back,” said Steiner, one of the colourful characters in the F1 management and a former technical operations director of Red Bull Racing.
Speaking to CNN in an Instagram Live chat with Amanda Davies, Steiner felt that Vettel’s decision has shaken up the transfer scenario of the sport a bit as “it was getting very boring’’, though he refused to be drawn on his own line-up for 2021 and relations within the Haas team.
Would Steiner like to make an offer for Vettel? With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Steiner said: “I would give him a chance but I cannot afford him, that’s my problem… I know him well enough that he doesn’t need to go to a midfield team anymore… Maybe he calls me up and wants to drive for free, he’s welcome to do that.”
I would give him a chance (Vettel) but I cannot afford him, that’s my problem… I know him well enough that he doesn’t need to go to a midfield team anymore… Maybe he calls me up and wants to drive for free, he’s welcome to do that
Commenting on Ferrari’s decision to part ways with the German ace, Steiner said: “I think Ferrari made their decision what they want to do, Sebastian decided what he wanted to do… So, I think it’s pretty good for the time being. It was getting very boring in Formula One and this woke it up. It was the perfect timing. I don’t think it was done intentionally like this, it just happened to be at this time because there was nothing to be told anymore. We’ve spoken about older Grand Prix in the press from the sixties, seventies… We’re back now to 1930 I think, so this was quite good for everybody to get a bit of attention.”
The 55-year-old veteran of the sport felt confident that the truncated F1 season should be able to start in the first week of July in Austria. “Yes, and I’m pretty confident – or as confident as I can be at this moment in time – that this will happen… I’m a little bit disappointed that maybe now Silverstone is not going to happen, or there is doubt over it because of the government’s quarantines.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are the two drivers for the mid-table Haas team, with the Frenchman Grosjean finishing the 2019 season on a rather poor note with eight points to finish two places from the bottom in the drivers’ standings. Magnussen finished in 16th position with 20 points.
Asked about the Haas’ 2021 driver line up, the Italian said: “In the moment, I’ve got different problems than our drivers. We’re trying to get ready to go racing and we’ll address that one a little bit later in the season.”
How has been his relationship with the current drivers and whether he’s speaking to others? “The relationship is good, as much as maybe people don’t believe that, but it’s still good. So, I just want to still get the best out of this year from them, especially in the beginning when we get back to racing. So that’s what I’m focusing on right now, not speaking to any other drivers,” Steiner added.