Haas boss sure most teams could eventually fight for F1 podiums

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Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner believes Formula 1 is well on the way to a situation where most teams on the grid could regularly compete for podium results.

A major criticism of the sport in recent years has been the growing gap between the top three teams on the grid, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, and the rest of the grid both in terms of spending and consequently performance. 

That situation was only exacerbated following the new car design rules introduced in 2017, with a clear two-tier championship emerging split into the aforementioned groups.

So dominant have been the big three teams in terms of filling the top three places, that only Lance Stroll's remarkable run in Baku, where he slipped to third behind Valtteri Bottas right on the finish line, has broken their stranglehold on the podium positions despite impressive performances from various midfield teams across the season.

"At the moment, it is impossible, because the budgets and the people working in it involved is so different," Steiner acknowledged when talking to ESPN.

Since the arrival of Liberty Media as the new F1 owners back in January, the issue of costs, whether it be a reducing spending or evening the amount of revenue each team receives from the commercial rights holder, has been high on the agenda.

"There are plans to get it a lot better by regulation with cost control -- I don't call it cost cap, it's cost control -- and a better way to distribute the prize money," Steiner continued. "So that should close it up and close it up naturally."

The performance gap will also naturally decrease as development continues and the regulations remain somewhat static but the Haas chief points to the tight battle that has emerged in the midfield as proof his ambition for a more competitive grid isn't just a fantasy.

"Every team should have the chance to go on the podium, that would make it interesting. I believe that," he said. "That's what F1 should be aiming for in the next two or three years.

"Not every team in one season, of course, because then you're close to spec racing, but over a couple of seasons every team should have a realistic chance of scoring podiums with the right work and development. At the moment, the best job most teams do is for eighth, ninth, tenth, and that's out of the way [for most fans attention].

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"If you take the big three out, there it is -- there's nothing else to do," he added. "You have Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull. If you take them away, every team would have been on the podium this season because that fight behind the big three is so unpredictable and changes every race. But usually it's fighting for scraps.

"If you take those teams away, you only need to finish sixth to be on the podium. We have finished sixth, Force India have finished sixth, Williams, Toro Rosso, McLaren, the only ones which didn't are Sauber. So it isn't so far off!"