Formula 1 is the global standard in motorsports, but Guenther Steiner believes it could learn from NASCAR when it comes to cutting costs.
The Italian is the current team principal of Haas F1, but he has also spent time in charge of the Red Bull Racing NASCAR Cup Series squad, so he has witnessed the spending strategies of both entities.
He believes F1 under the leadership of Liberty Media could take a suggestion or two from NASCAR moving forward. The FIA imposes a two-week summer break where teams are not permitted to work on their cars, but that’s more for health and sanity than anything else.
“I think the cost saving has not really worked in F1 because they keep on going up and up,” Steiner said last week during a press event at the team shop in Huntersville, North Carolina. “I think the two-week summer shutdown was a little more for the people, but it was more of a sweetener when they increased the races. They said when they went from I think it was 16 to 18 races, ‘we need to impose a break,’ otherwise people will never get off and people will just not want to do that job anymore, or they’ll ask for too much money to do it.”
That said, Steiner would be open to the idea of NASCAR teams receiving similar sanction-imposed breaks. This is especially true in the aftermath of Carl Edwards retiring last month and citing the grind of the NASCAR schedule.
Even Denny Hamlin has been a proponent of giving teams and drivers more time off.
“I don’t think NASCAR can learn a lot of cost capping from F1 because, at the moment, we’re not good at it, so they shouldn’t,” Steiner said. “I think it could be the opposite, that F1 could learn from NASCAR.
“But I think with the shutdown, to have something similar in NASCAR would be possible with the schedule they’ve got, and I think where NASCAR is very clever is how they arrange travel. They’re away from home as little as possible. It’s also easier because you’re running in one nation; you’re not running all around the world. You’re not having 16-hour flights to go to somewhere. It helps a little bit there, but the two-week holiday, I think the NASCAR guys wouldn’t mind having them.”