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Haas says 'trending' Formula E is still not a threat to Formula One

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Despite Formula E's increasing popularity with car manufacturers, Haas boss Guenther Steiner says the all-electric series poses no threat to Formula One.

FE recently announced two major coups -- reigning F1 world champions Mercedes will join in 2020, axing its DTM programme in the process, while Porsche will follow suit and end its participation in World Endurance Championship to focus on FE. The two German manufacturers will be joining a series already bolstered by the likes of Renault, BMW, Jaguar and Audi, while Ferrari is also considering a future entry in some capacity.

By contrast, F1 has struggled to attract new manufacturers to the sport in recent years, with independent outfit Haas the only team to join the grid since 2010 -- and that was only possible with an extensive engine and technical partnership with Ferrari. Haas boss Steiner believes Formula E, which has just completed its third season, will soon start encountering difficulties associated with having so many big-name players involved in the series.

"I see it as an additional series, but I don't see it as a threat," Steiner said when asked about FE's recent growth. "I still see F1 in a very good place -- it is the pinnacle of motorsport. FE is trending at the moment -- everyone wants to be part of this electric movement, which is fully understandable.

"But when there are seven or eight manufacturers involved, not all can win. There will also immediately be a war over who can do more, who wants authority and all those sort of things.

"At the moment they are not attracting a lot of spectators so I don't know how they can create revenue. It is difficult enough for F1 to create revenue, and this is a sport that has been here a long time. All the best drivers are here."

The growing importance of electric road cars has made Formula E an attractive proposition for most manufacturers. Ferrari has made little secret of its interest in the series, but company president Sergio Marchionne says it is unlikely the team will enter as the iconic team which has featured in every F1 world championship season.

"I talked with Toto, but I do not think Ferrari enters directly," Marchionne said during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. "However, we are thinking of doing so as FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]. And if we will enter, with one of the brands from the group, we do not know which one it will be right now."