F1 is now ‘more transparent’ under Stefano Domenicali, says Guenther Steiner

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022. Credit: Alamy
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022. Credit: Alamy

Guenther Steiner has praised the transparency brought into Formula 1 by Liberty Media and Stefano Domenicali.

After 40 years under him, Bernie Ecclestone relinquished control of Formula 1 in 2017 when he sold his shares to Liberty Media in 2016.

Since then, the sport has undergone massive changes including the instalment of former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali as the president of the Formula One Group, which is the group of companies that look after the sport’s commercial interests.

While the FIA deals with rules and regulations, the Formula One Group, which includes Formula One Management (FOM), controls the broadcasting, organisation and promotional rights of Formula 1 and therefore works closely with the 10 teams involved.

One man who has experienced both tenures is Haas’ Steiner whose team came into existence in the final year of Ecclestone’s reign. He has praised the new owners and said that under Domenicali, there is much greater transparency.

“I think they are different. Definitely, they are different,” he told the Beyond the Grid podcast. “Everybody’s included.

“Before with Bernie, the big teams always had a little bit of an advantage, but it’s for a good reason. They’re putting more into the sport that they are supplying power units and stuff like this.

“But I think it’s more transparent now with Stefano in charge, it’s more information. He always tries to update us on what is going on in his world [because it impacts] what our world will be, because he’s at the leading edge of it. So I think he’s just more transparent, we are more informed.”

Plenty have had their critics at the way Ecclestone ran in the sport with many arguing that he was serving his own purposes more than the sport but Steiner did not want to critique the previous owner. Instead praising the current regime for the ability to keep 10 stable teams on the grid.

“I’m not critiquing what Bernie did, it was different times as well, we always have to think about this, the times were different, everything was different,” the 57-year-old said.

“Now, F1 is a lot more popular. The money distribution is more equal. We have got 10 teams, which are all very stable.

“In the old days, we never had 10 stable teams, there was always one or two, which were lagging behind the thinking a little bit so now it’s very stable.

“But that was achieved in the way Liberty Media approached the sport, they wanted all 10 teams to be able to commercially survive. So we have a good show and nobody’s struggling.”

With F1 and the FIA separate entities, they have their own interests and on that front, it looks as if the sport is heading for a civil war in regards to new teams entering the grid.

The Andretti partnership with General Motors seems to have acted as the ignition on the fuse between the FIA and F1 as both parties argue their case for or against the addition of the American companies to the grid.

Read more: ‘Strong majority’ of F1 grid against expansion, Cadillac intentions questioned – report

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