Guenther Steiner says he is not worried about Sauber's renewed partnership with Ferrari as he does not believe it will have any negative impact on Haas.
The American outfit has enjoyed a successful technical collaboration with the Scuderia since it entered Formula One at the start of 2016, securing an impressive eighth place finish in the constructors' standings in its debut campaign. 2017 has proven to be an even stronger season so far for Haas, with the team occupying seventh in the championship, having already matched the points total it achieved throughout the entirety of last year.
Sauber, like Haas, has been backed by Ferrari power, though the team has struggled this season with a one-year-old Ferrari power unit. Sauber had agreed a deal with Japanese engine manufacturer Honda to supply the team with engines from 2018, though a U-turn over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend saw the Swiss outfit instead sign a new multi-year contract to take on up-to-date Ferrari engines.
When asked if he felt the deal could hurt Haas' relationship with Ferrari, Steiner told Sky F1: "I don't think so. We look after ourselves and our relationship with Ferrari. If they have a relationship with somebody else... We are not asked anyway what we think about it or what they should be doing. I think our relationship is strong. I think it will continue as good as it is now. I think without them we wouldn't be where we are right now."
Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne has hinted his team is considering the possibility of using its tie-up with Sauber to feed its highly-rated junior drivers into F1. Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi -- who have both driven for Haas during practice sessions in 2016 and 2017 -- have been linked with a potential move to Sauber for 2018, with seats at Haas expected to be locked-out. Steiner suggested a team setup like the one at Minardi, which ran young drivers including Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella and Mark Webber, could help promote young prospects into F1.
"I think they are both good guys, with very good potential," Steiner said when asked about the pair. "How they get into a seat is difficult, Formula One in that respect is very difficult. The difficulty is they need to be in the right time at the right place, there is nothing else you can do for it, at the moment you cannot even buy a cockpit at the moment.
"Like when Minardi was around, Minardi was maybe happy to be last, that was their duty to bring drivers up. Maybe they were not happy to be last but they could live with it as it was their business model: to develop drivers was their business models. It's like when Ricciardo drove the HRT, you knew he was not going to do anything but it gave him experience and that's not there anymore. It's maybe a good thing we don't have these teams [running at the back], but maybe a bad thing."