Guenther Steiner

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Guenther Steiner
Guenther Steiner 2017 United States GP.jpg
Born
Guenther Steiner

(1965-04-07) 7 April 1965 (age 54)
ResidenceMooresville, North Carolina, United States
NationalityItaly Italian
OccupationTeam principal
EmployerHaas F1 Team
Spouse(s)Gertraud Steiner
ChildrenGreta Steiner

Guenther Steiner (born 7 April 1965)[1] is an Italian motorsport engineer and manager. He is currently the team principal of the Haas Formula One Team, and previously managing director of Jaguar Racing and technical operations director of its subsequent incarnation, Red Bull Racing.

Career[edit]

Rally (1986–2001)[edit]

Born in Merano,[1] the son of a butcher,[2] Steiner studied engineering without finishing, and moved to Belgium after his military service,[3] where he started his career as a mechanic in the World Rally Championship for Mazda Rally Team Europe from 1986–1988.

From January 1989 to 1990, Steiner worked as assistant team manager for Top Run Srl. He acted as head of reconnaissance, and later technical manager, at Jolly Club from 1991–1996.

In 1997, Steiner managed Prodrive's Allstar Rally team, winning the European Rally Championship with Krzysztof Hołowczyc, and in 1998 M-Sport recruited him as project manager. He was promoted to director of engineering in 2000, where he worked under the Ford World Rally Team alongside drivers Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz to secure consecutive runner-up finishes in the 2000 and 2001 seasons.[1]

Jaguar (2001–2003)[edit]

Steiner switched to Formula One in 2001 when Jaguar Racing's newly-appointed team principal, Niki Lauda, headhunted him for the job of managing director.[1][3] According to Steiner, "[Lauda] asked, 'are there any talented people at Ford?' And the reply was 'there's Guenther.' The guy lied!"[3] Assuming the role on 3 December, Steiner was responsible for the engineering side of the team at Milton Keynes, while director of strategy John Allison handled administrative tasks.[4]

Steiner reorganised the team and reduced costs during his tenure.[1][5] However, Jaguar underperformed in the 2002 season,[6] with lead driver Eddie Irvine claiming only 8 championship points while teammate Pedro de la Rosa failed to score,[7] and parent company Ford dismissed Lauda on 26 November before making 70 team members redundant.[6][8]

On 5 December, Jaguar announced Steiner had been replaced by project manager David Pitchforth as part of the restructuring. Spokesman Nav Sidhu said, "he has relinquished his responsibilities as MD but has done nothing wrong. This organisation is in significantly better shape now than when he joined. Guenther has clearly laid down the engineering baseline that David will now aim to take on to the next level."[5]

Although Jaguar's new management offered Steiner another role in the team, he ultimately declined,[3][5] and spent the 2003 season on garden leave before replacing Wiet Huidekoper as technical director at Opel Performance Center in November of that year.[1][9]

Red Bull (2005–2008)[edit]

After Red Bull purchased Jaguar Racing in November 2004,[10] Steiner was invited to join Red Bull Racing.[1] Opel's plans to withdraw from the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the end of 2005 motivated his return to the Milton Keynes team.[11][12][13] His appointment as technical operations director was confirmed on 13 January 2005.[1][14]

Steiner and team principal Christian Horner jointly led the outfit to improved results in the 2005 season,[15] but when Red Bull poached championship-winning technical director Adrian Newey from McLaren, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz approached Steiner to help establish a NASCAR team in the United States.[3][16] Feeling the F1 team had become overcrowded, Steiner consulted his wife and agreed to move to Mooresville, North Carolina,[3] where he served as Team Red Bull's technical director from 1 April 2006 to April 2008.[1][16]

Haas (2014–)[edit]

Steiner remained in Mooresville after leaving Red Bull, where he founded manufacturing company Fibreworks Composites in January 2009.[1]

While the US F1 Team was in development, Steiner met Joe Custer and Gene Haas of Stewart-Haas Racing, who had declined to invest in the project, at a steakhouse. He proposed they themselves enter F1 by ordering a customer car from an established constructor, but delays in securing approval prompted them to apply for entry as a privateer team.[17][18] Steiner, described as "the prime 'doer'" by motorsport publication Autosport, recruited the core staff, interviewed every team member,[2] and developed partnerships with outsourcers Dallara and Ferrari.[19][20] On 14 April 2014, he was officially announced team principal of the fledgling Haas F1 Team.[20]

With their entry in the 2016 season, Haas became the first American constructor to compete in F1 in 30 years.[21] The team took 8 points at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix with a 6th place finish by driver Romain Grosjean, becoming the first American entry, and the first constructor overall since Toyota Racing in 2002, to score in their debut race.[22] Haas completed the season with an 8th place finish in the 2016 constructor standings and 29 points, all scored by Grosjean.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Steiner holds Italian and American passports,[3] and lives in Mooresville with his wife, Gertraud, and daughter, Greta.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Guenther Steiner - Team Detail". Haas F1 Team. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b Rencken, Dieter (26 February 2016). "Just how do you build a new F1 team?". Autosport. Retrieved 19 March 2017. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Silbermann, Eric (23 October 2016). "Breakfast with Guenther Steiner". F1i. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Jaguar Racing names Managing Director". Motorsport.com. 1 December 2001. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Baldwin, Alan (5 December 2002). "Pitchforth Replaces Steiner as Jaguar MD". Autosport. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Lauda sacked by Jaguar". BBC Sport. 26 November 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Irvine axed by Jaguar". BBC Sport. 1 November 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Jaguar reveal 'virtual' launch plans". Motorsport.com. 23 December 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Steiner joins Opel DTM programme". Autosport. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Red Bull snaps up Jaguar F1 team". BBC Sport. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Opel confirms DTM withdrawal". Autosport. 14 October 2004. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  12. ^ "The F1 axe falls at Red Bull Racing". Grandprix.com. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  13. ^ "The resurrection of Gunther Steiner". Grandprix.com. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  14. ^ Sabine, Alex (13 January 2005). "Steiner appointed RBR tech boss". Autosport. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  15. ^ Tremayne, David (8 January 2005). "Horner sweeps new broom at Red Bull". The Independent. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Steiner joins Red Bull's team". Autosport. 3 March 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  17. ^ Sylt, Christian (15 July 2014). "Haas Declined Chance To Invest In US F1 Team". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  18. ^ Smith, Luke. "Gene Haas carries American flag into Formula One history". NBC SportsWorld. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  19. ^ Pockrass, Bob (19 October 2016). "Gene Haas & Guenther Steiner Q and A: The blueprint beyond 2016 for America's F1 team". ESPN. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  20. ^ a b "F1: Haas Formula teleconference transcript". Racer. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Haas present maiden F1 challenger". Formula 1. 21 Feb 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Melbourne stats - four in a row for Rosberg, Haas emulate Toyota". Formula 1. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  23. ^ "2016 Formula One World Championship - Constructors' Championship". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.

External links[edit]