Helmut Marko fires brutal shot at sacked Guenther Steiner

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has fired a brutal shot at recently axed Haas boss Guenther Steiner, with the 80-year-old blaming Steiner’s popularity going to his head as to why he was sacked.

It was announced last week that Steiner had been fired as Haas’ team principal, with him having been immediately replaced by Ayao Komatsu, who was the American side’s trackside engineering director.

Steiner had led Haas from the very beginning of their time on the Formula 1 grid back in 2016, but recent results haven’t gone in his favour.

Haas finished bottom of the 2023 Constructors’ Championship thanks to a car which simply burnt through its tyres too quickly, resulting in Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg rarely being able to push.

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Both were exceptional in qualifying last year but that was because Haas’ 2023 challenger simply got its tyres up to temperature quicker than any other car.

Another issue seemingly for Steiner is his recent rise to stardom, following Netflix’s F1 docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’.

Steiner has become a fan favourite as a result of the series, with Haas having previously released special merchandise using some of the ex-team principal’s famous quotes.

According to Marko, Steiner tried to “convert his popularity into shares” in Haas, something owner Gene Haas seemingly wasn’t happy about.

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“Let’s put it this way: Anyone who becomes too popular through a documentary like Netflix tends to take off. But if you fly too high too quickly, you will fall more quickly,” Marko told F1 Insider.

“All I heard was that he wanted to convert his popularity into shares in the team. And owner Gene Haas didn’t like that anymore. It is also the case in our sport that the team always comes before the individual. Steiner became a victim of his popularity.”

Disappointingly for Steiner, he was rejected the chance to say goodbye to the team, although he’e ensuring that he remains “very chilled” about the entire saga.

He’s not planning on rushing back into work anytime soon, unless “something interesting comes along”.

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“Now at the moment, I’m very chilled out about the situation,” Steiner said, as reported by The Express. “I’m not unhappy and I know a lot of people, I’ve got a lot of friends and for me just hanging around for a year doing the odd job, that does it for me.

“If something interesting comes along which challenges me, yes, but just staying in Formula 1 just to do a job, maybe is not what I want to do. I like to be with people but it needs to be something where I can see a future in it.

“I don’t just want to go there and then move on to the next thing. I want to do something where you can achieve something and you try to get somewhere and then I will do it.”