Guenther Steiner, the Haas team principal, has expressed his indifference towards his popularity in light of recent comments made by former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Ecclestone had voiced his support for Mick Schumacher and criticised the “unsuccessful team boss” for ending the young driver’s Formula 1 career.
Responding to Ecclestone’s remarks, Steiner emphasised that he never aimed to become popular, even though his appearances on the hit show “Drive to Survive” had contributed to his fame.
While he acknowledged the importance of popularity for the sport and Haas, he stated that others’ opinions held little significance to him personally.
“Look, it’s not bad, it’s good for Formula 1, it’s good for Haas, it’s good for me from time to time, so you have to deal with that and respect the fans because without fans we wouldn’t exist,” Steiner said in an interview with MARCA.
“We need to be seen because we have to make money and it costs a lot.
“But I insist that I didn’t wake up one morning and say ‘I want to be popular.’
“I don’t like it or dislike it, I don’t really care. I’m very passionate, but I’m not a bad guy.
“I tell people what I want, and I have to do it if I want to achieve something because it’s not an easy fight out there.”
Regarding the direction of Formula 1 under Liberty Media compared to Ecclestone’s era, Steiner expressed his support for the sport’s global expansion.
He appreciated the inclusion of new races and formats, believing that a diverse calendar was essential to prevent stagnation and maintain interest.
“I like the classics, of course, but to have 23 classic races would be boring,” Steiner explained.
“There are now several exceptional races, including American races, night races, afternoon races, and more.
“The mixture makes it difficult not to find one that catches your eye.
“If this hadn’t been done, I think F1 would have started to fall.
“Liberty knew the potential, what they wanted to do; otherwise, they wouldn’t have bought the show that had been kind of stagnant since 2000 and we kept repeating it over and over again.”