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The Five Best Guenther Steiner F1 Moments

You have to wonder if he smashed Gene Haas's door on the way out.
Bryn Lennon/Formula 1 via Getty Images

This week we sadly learned it’s all over for Haas F1 Team’s Guenther Steiner, the former head of Formula 1’s only American team and, fittingly, the unlikely star of the sport’s rise to American prominence. While his replacement, longtime Haas chief engineer Ayao Komatsu, seems to be a natural fit for Steiner’s old gig, he assuredly won’t bring the same, shall we say, enthusiasm to interviews. That’s why we’ve compiled this short list of our favorite Guenther Steiner moments to tide us over until he hopefully lands on his feet at another squad, or the workplace sitcom he’s producing hits the airwaves.

Warning: If you didn’t already know, the following videos contain gratuitous cursing. But that’s what you came for, right?

The 2019 British Grand Prix Meltdown

We begin with a short view back to the past: specifically, the 2019 British Grand Prix, where Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean collided on the first lap, resulting in punctures and subsequent DNFs for both cars. Steiner had choice words for both of his men that were later revealed on the second season of Drive to Survive, and Magnussen responded with a “fuck smash” of Steiner’s office door.

“Hugging” the Whole Paddock at the 2022 Saudi Arabian GP

Missile strike aside, the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix ended decently well for Haas, as Magnussen finished ninth for two points. During a post-race interview, Steiner reflected on how the result was one to be pleased with, but it was the way he relayed this sentiment that raised eyebrows, especially those of Haas’ PR representative and the interviewee. If you ask Guenther, he claims he said he “would’ve hugged the whole paddock” for two points in 2021. And indeed, the boss’ accent blends the sounds enough that that suggestion is plausible. But that’s clearly not the way those present at the time heard it, judging from the looks on their faces, and we know Steiner has a penchant for four-letter words. Also, the team went so far as to upload a clip of this interview to YouTube, perhaps suggesting its own agenda in this narrative. Draw your own conclusions, folks.

“It’s Better Than Spinning the Car”

Nikita Mazepin’s tenure with Haas was particularly painful for everyone to endure, but given that Steiner had to manage the entitled son of a billionaire, you’d imagine that his frustration was on a somewhat personal level. Fortunately, Steiner also appears to have a habit of dealing with these things with humor, as he did when he gifted the Russian driver with a spinning top in 2021. “You spin this one; it’s better [than] spinning the car,” he adds at the end there, just to make sure Mazepin really gets the joke.

Guenther and Mattia Take Italy

Here’s one that’s less funny, more refreshing. If you think about it, neither Steiner nor former Scuderia Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto is employed in F1 anymore. We’re not sure what Binotto’s doing these days, but now could be the perfect time for the two to seize this moment and start their own travel show. They simply have a great dynamic—Mattia being soft-spoken and tranquil, and Guenther being that ball-buster you just heard four minutes ago unwilling to suffer anymore “fucking wank” from his drivers.

Making Everyone Uncomfortable at Dinner

This one might just be my personal favorite. You know how most people have that voice in their head that questions whether the joke they’re about to tell is perhaps a little too mean? Sure, mine doesn’t always step in quite in time, but I’m not sure Guenther Steiner has one at all, judging from this brutal roasting that elicited nervous laughter at a Haas function at Romain Grosjean’s expense, from the first season of Drive to Survive. The expression of the man in the green t-shirt after the boss jokes about not inviting Grosjean “because he doesn’t deserve any food” gets me every time.

This was but a short collection of our favorite Guenther Steiner clips, but I encourage you to share yours in the comments below. 2024 simply won’t be the same fucking season without him.

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