Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has backed Stefano Domenicali in his new role as Formula 1’s CEO, revealing the Italian’s instrumental role in getting the squad onto the grid.
F1 confirmed on Friday that Domenicali will replace Chase Carey at the helm of the sport from January 2021.
He will join Formula 1 after recent spells at Audi and Lamborghini but previously spent over two decades working for Ferrari in Formula 1, including as Team Principal between 2007 and 2014.
Haas, which has had a technical alliance with Ferrari since it arrived on the grid in 2016, owes a lot to the support and backing of Domenicali, according to Steiner.
“I have known Stefano a very long time, he’s a very good guy,” Steiner told Sky Sports F1. “He has great experience in the sport.
“Without Stefano, Haas F1 wouldn’t be here. Maybe it’s strange for you guys to hear, but in the beginning when I tried to put this together, the main person I spoke with was Stefano.
“He was the guy that believed that this is doable. When Gene [Haas] got around, he helped a lot and he believed in the model we created and supported it.
“He understands the sport very well and for sure he’s happy to come back to the sport. He was here in the hayday in the Ferrari era with Michael [Schumacher], so I think we welcome him back.
“They’ve got a great team now with Stefano and Chase staying on a little bit more in the background.”
Steiner hailed the job Carey has done during his time as F1’s CEO, stating the future of the sport is in “a very good place” following the recent signing of the Concorde Agreement.
“He earned the respect of the team principals here, sometimes we need a little bit of a wise school master,” Steiner said. “He a great job actually.
“If you come from outside the sport, to deal with all the individuals, to get to know them, how they tick and all that stuff, it’s not easy to understood the sport.
“He did quite good. He came also when it was time to renew the commercial agreement [and then] the pandemic struck.
“He had a lot of things to fight, he made a fantastic job of having 17 races this year and we signed a better Concorde Agreement for everybody.”