Steiner defends the management style and criticism of Schumacher

( – Haas Formula 1 team principal Günther Steiner has built up a huge fan base as he became known for calling a spade a spade, most notably through the Netflix series Drive to Survive “.

Gunther Steiner

Günther Steiner at an FIA press conference before the summer break


Never holding back his true feelings, Steiner can be quite brutal when it comes to addressing mistakes made by himself, his team, and most importantly his managers in the heat of the moment.

It’s part of his personality, and since he’s far from a boring CEO who just gets carried away by PR shenanigans, it’s made him a popular conversationalist on the pitch.

Did Schumacher’s criticism go too far?

That’s not to say that his willingness to tell things like he sees them has no downside, because sometimes the truth in life hurts.

Criticizing too many individuals in public can affect morale. Badmouthing your drivers only puts more pressure on them at a time when they may need support the most.

Steiner had to walk this tightrope earlier in the year when Mick Schumacher suffered a series of high-profile crashes while chasing his first Formula 1 points.

Steiner: “There’s nothing to hide here”

Steiner did his best to take the pressure off the young German’s shoulders when criticism was leveled at him from the outside, but he wasn’t afraid to make it clear he was unhappy with the way things were going on the track.

Some harsh words for Schumacher following his accident in Monaco have certainly raised a few eyebrows as they may have gone too far, but regardless, Steiner is clear on one thing: it’s better to tell the truth, even if it ever hinders that of the Devil. The kitchen brings.

“I think there’s nothing to hide here,” says Steiner in an interview with “” about his management style. “I’d rather deal with the truth and face the consequences than not tell the whole truth and then deal with ‘I said this, he said that, now what’s true?’

“That way what I say is true and people believe me because I tell them so. And we deal with it and get better. When you have a bad race, you can learn not to do it again. It’s the same thing. here.”

Why did Steiner criticize Schumacher so harshly?

Steiner is aware that harsh words can be read by those involved and feelings can be hurt, but he stresses that he never intends to intentionally upset anyone on his team.

“Of course it’s always difficult not to hurt anyone when you do something like that and that’s my aim. But sometimes when a driver makes a mistake, like when Mick crashed, I can’t say, ‘It doesn’t matter. “I’m very happy about that.”

“No, I have to say, “No, I’m not happy about it. We will try to overcome it and I have to find a solution to close the financial hole.”

Steiner: “Just say what I think!”

“But I wouldn’t say, ‘No, that’s not a problem.’ Because then you would [die Medien] say: ‘Are you stupid or what?’ So that’s my perspective on life in general. I’m just going to say what I think and hope I don’t hurt anyone.”

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While Steiner was not always happy about some of Schumacher’s incidents early in the season, he is optimistic that the youngster has now improved significantly after his good results at the British and Austrian Grands Prix.

As for how he handled Schumacher’s ups and downs, the Haas team principal says the key for him was not to get too involved and offer driver-specific advice.

Steiner makes it clear: treat both drivers equally!

Instead, it was about giving Schumacher the confidence that he would have every opportunity to show what he could do. “I think there’s been a lot of outside pressure on him, and I don’t know how he deals with that, because he’s doing his job,” Steiner says.

“But I think what I always do and always will do as a team leader is give them the same chance as the other drivers. And as long as you keep that, you can look at both drivers in the eye and say, ‘Hey, it’s up to you now to find a solution because I can’t drive the race car. I know it’s not going the way you want it to. But keep trying because you have the same chance.”

“Apart from the improvement in Hungary, everything has always been treated the same and the strategy has been the same. So the only thing I can try to stabilize is that he stays mentally focused. Of course, I can’t influence outside interference because I can’t get into his head.”

Steiner laments the lost points

“Like Kevin [Magnussen] came to the team, of course it was a different world for me [Mick], and he had to get used to it. But I can’t say something like “Look at the data where you’re wasting time.”

“But I think he overcame that. Of course we would have liked him to have come earlier because then we would have got more points, but Silverstone and Austria were two good races for him. So I hope we are in this now. gone.”

After the summer break: Mick wants to get closer to Alfa Romeo with Haas

Ahead of the start of Formula 1 after the summer break, Mick Schumacher talks about the upcoming races and what he plans to do with his Haas racing team.

While Schumacher has given Steiner a few headaches this year, Magnussen has been able to impress on his return to Formula 1, particularly in the opening races.

Steiner: “We underestimated how talented you must be”

Having eased into the team, Steiner says he and team owner Gene Haas may have underestimated the value experienced qualities have on driving results.

“We have that too [Fernando] Alonso is seen: There are still a few people who can obviously drive these cars,” he says. “But I think we underestimated how difficult it is and how talented you have to be.”

“But it’s not just about going fast. It’s about going into a race, staying calm and finishing it, so you make the best of what’s out there.”

“Sometimes you have to be happy with what’s there and not try to chase a dream this weekend. So let’s take something home with us instead of risking everything,” said the Haas team principal.

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