Steiner unsure Haas will need works PU deal in 2026
Guenther Steiner doesn’t believe Haas will necessarily need a works power unit deal in future to be competitive in Formula 1.
Aston Martin’s recent announcement that it will be the Honda works team from 2026 onwards makes it six teams that will have such partnerships when the new power unit regulations come into effect. While Haas will then be one of just four teams to be a customer, Steiner says it doesn’t guarantee it will need to find itself a similar agreement to be able to compete with the majority of its rivals.
“I wouldn’t say we need to,” Steiner said. “You need to look into where do you want to be in five to 10 years. I think at the moment we are all overthinking what is coming in ’26, I think there will be solutions to it because not everybody can have a works team — for ’26 for sure there are only six engine manufacturers so four teams will need to take a customer engine. We will be one of them for ’26, but looking forward you also need to see where Formula 1 is going.
“I don’t want to sound negative but manufacturers come and go, teams stay. So we need to think of that as well. I don’t want to say, ‘We need to be a manufacturer in five years.’ It could also be that maybe we are happy not to be a manufacturer in five years, that is out there as well. So let’s see what time brings but for the moment we are ready for ’26 — we will go with a customer engine and we will make the best out of it.”
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Ahead of Haas’ 150th grand prix this weekend in Monaco, Steiner says Aston Martin’s form so far this season shows a team can have a customer relationship and still beat the works team.
“I just give you one example: Aston Martin, what engine are they running? Mercedes. Where is Aston Martin? In front of Mercedes at the moment. So why are you all thinking that will change in future? We always have to live in the reality as well. There’s a good chance a customer team can do better than a works team like is happening right now and we have the proof of it — it’s not something I’ve dreamt up.
Aston Martin might be ending its PU customer status for the next rules cycle, but its current form shows you can still thrive in F1 without a works deal, Steiner says. Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images
“And also in 2026 there are six engine manufacturers — how do you know that all will do the same good job? There could be two or three that do a worse job and if you are with the right manufacturer you are in front of the other ones. So there are pros as well to being a customer. If you go out there and make your own engine and the engine is not good, what have you achieved then?
“So I think only the future will tell. We can dream up a lot of scenarios that could or should happen, but the fact is that at the moment a customer team is beating a works team — and not a bad works team, by the way!”