Steiner reveals ‘thick skin’ after years in F1’s Piranha Club
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 2nd March, 2023 - 1:00pm
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has conceded to developing “a thick skin” from his many years of fighting on F1’s political battleground.
Given his longevity in the sport, Steiner is now regarded as one of the more influential figures, belonging to a group of people that over time has affectionately become known as ‘the Piranha Club’ given that only the strongest survive.
The first episode of the new series of Drive to Survive heavily featured Steiner and Mattia Binotto, who resigned from his role as team principal of Ferrari at the end of last season after four years in the job.
The duo were seen discussing the pressures of F1, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum, with Haas simply looking to survive in the sport given its battles at the back of the grid, and Ferrari chasing race wins and championships.
Asked whether he enjoyed the political machinations, Steiner said: “It doesn’t do anything for me. It’s part of the job.
“If you cannot deal with it…I wouldn’t say you enjoy it but you know it’s part of the job and you do it.
“Once you start to enjoy negative things, then you’re quite a sad person, and I’m not a sad person.
“You deal with it as part of your job and you are always trying to get the best out of it.”
Declaring it to be a developed skill as the years go by, Steiner added: “Your skin gets very thick after a while.
“It’s like ‘Oh, right, come on, boy. Here we go, let’s play now.”
Binotto “will fall on his feet” – Steiner
As for Binotto, he and Steiner developed a close friendship over the years, partly forged by Haas’ technical partnership with Ferrari.
At the start of season five of Drive to Survive, the duo are seen touring through some windy Italian back roads in an old Fiat 500, laughing and joking together.
Later in the episode, it emerges Binotto has his own vineyard from which he produces a range of wines.
As to how the Italian is currently coping away from F1, Steiner said: “I spoke with him [recently] and he’s in a good place.
“A guy like Mattia, he will fall on his feet.”
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]