Steiner sues Haas F1 Team over unpaid commissions and unauthorised use of his image

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Guenther Steiner, the former team principal of Haas, has initiated legal proceedings against the Haas Formula 1 team, alleging breach of contract and unauthorised use of his likeness.

Filed in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Steiner’s lawsuit claims Haas has failed to pay him commissions due under his employment contract for the years 2021 through 2023. Additionally, Steiner accuses the team of continuing to profit from his image and reputation without his consent.

According to court documents, though Haas chose not to renew Steiner’s contract, they allegedly continued to use his name and likeness on merchandise and their official website, contravening the terms of his contract.

“Haas F1 chose not to renew Mr. Steiner’s Employment Agreement. This was its right. But Haas F1 has done what it has no right to do and refused to pay Mr. Steiner [amount redacted] owed under his Employment Agreement,” stated the court papers.

The claim highlights that Steiner’s role in the popular Netflix series, Drive to Survive, significantly boosted Haas’s profile and fan base, arguing that the team greatly benefited from his popularity and expertise.

“After years of accepting the benefits of Mr. Steiner’s reputation, experience, and deep connections within the sport, Haas F1 cannot withhold from Mr. Steiner the benefits he has earned,” the documents added.

Furthermore, the lawsuit details that despite his considerable contribution to the team’s visibility and success, particularly in securing sponsorships, Haas has withheld payments and exploited his public persona without rightful compensation.

“Haas F1 has no right to use Mr. Steiner’s name, image, and likeness or to exploit them in any form of media after the termination of his employment. Haas F1 has not compensated Mr. Steiner for its unauthorised use of his name, image, and likeness,” the court documents state.

The specific amounts claimed by Steiner have not been disclosed as they were redacted in the court filings. The case now awaits a court hearing, where further details are expected to emerge.