Haas F1 team sues Guenther Steiner – days after he takes his own legal action

Haas are suing their former team principal Guenther Steiner over alleged trademark infringements in his 2023 book Surviving to Drive.

The legal action in California, from Haas F1 team’s parent company Haas Automation, comes a matter of days after Steiner filed a lawsuit of his own against the American-owned team – alleging a breach of contract over unpaid commissions.

The latest action, however, alleges that Steiner and his book publisher Ten Speed Press acted unlawfully in publishing images in his 2023 book.

Steiner, a fan favourite known for his X-rated outbursts on Netflix’s Drive to Surviveleft the American-owned team in January after eight years as team principal and 10 years at the helm since its formation in 2014.

Haas’ legal document alleges: “Without permission or consent from Haas Automation, Steiner authored, marketed, promoted, sold, distributed, and profited from a publication titled “Surviving to Drive” (the “Accused Product”), which unlawfully used and displayed, and continues to use and display, the Haas Automation Trademarks and the Haas Automation Trade Dress for Steiner’s personal financial gain and illicit profit.

“Haas Automation never consented to Steiner’s use of the Haas Automation Trademarks or the Haas Automation Trade Dress on the Accused product.”

Haas, owned by Gene Haas, are seeking damages and have asked the court for a trial by jury. They add that Steiner, 59, was made aware of the accusations prior to the lawsuit, but the company did not receive an adequate response.

“Haas Automation gave pre-lawsuit notice to Steiner but to date Steiner has taken no action to cease or mitigate his infringing acts, necessitating the instant lawsuit,” the documents add.

Haas F1 team are suing their former team principal Guenther Steiner (Getty Images)
Haas F1 team are suing their former team principal Guenther Steiner (Getty Images)

“Steiner sells and promoted the Accused Product in various mediums, including without limitation print and digital, in violation of Haas Automation’s exclusive intellectual property rights.

“Information available online indicates that as of January 2024, the Accused Product has exceeded sales of at least 150,000 units and generated revenue of at least $4,500,000.”

Steiner’s representatives have been approached for comment.

Steiner has kept himself busy since leaving Haas in January. The Italian-American was an ambassador for the Miami Grand Prix last weekend and has also worked as a broadcaster for German channel RTL and Australia’s Network 10 this season.