Guenther Steiner opens up on relationship with FIA boss amid tensions

Guenther Steiner has claimed team bosses’ relationships with the FIA “isn’t bad” amid reports of a rise in tensions. The Haas team principal claimed both sides work “professionally” despite the rumours.

However, he did stress that team bosses and the FIA had to “work together” to ensure the success of the sport. His comments come after an apparent difference of opinion opening up between team principals and FIA boss Mohammed ben Sulayem.

Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Steiner said: “I think the relationship is what it needs to be. I think everything is done professionally, that is the most important thing.

“We need to work together to make the sport. Now with the popularity of the sport we need to all work a job to do things right. We need to work together and I think that works. Sometimes that relationship is stronger than another one but in general I don’t think it’s as bad sometimes as it’s made out to be.”

Ben Sulayem has pushed for F1 to extend the grid ahead of 2026 as demand for F1 soars globally. The president has thrown his weight behind Andretti-Cadillac’s potential entry despite opposition from many.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff raised fears the move could reduce the amount of prize money available to teams at the end of the season. Steiner has also been against the move, claiming the American squad’s entry would be “just risk, no benefit” last month.

Tensions have also risen between Ben Sulayem and F1 chiefs after the Emirati commented on the valuation of F1.

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He claimed a possible £16billion ($20b) Saudi Arabian takeover bid could be “inflated”. Ahead of the new season, Ben Sulayem stood down from the day-to-day running of the sport with Nikolas Tombazis taking over.

Ben Sulayem will remain as president but will instead focus on long-term projects. The FIA stressed the move was pre-planned but the decision came at a time of rising tensions on the eve of the new campaign.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur, meanwhile, admitted the sport would run “much smoother” after Ben Sulayem’s exit. He commented: “Well, I think that it’s always the case in the winter time that every single discussion is going up.

“Now we’ll be back on track, we’ll come back to the reality of the business and it will be much smoother.”

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