Colin McRae was “probably the most gifted driver I ever met”

Steiner labored alongside 1995 world champion McRae throughout the 1999 and 2000 campaigns throughout a spell on the manufacturing facility Ford WRC operation run by M-Sport.

At M-Sport, Steiner was working as director of engineering, having beforehand entered the motorsport business as a rally mechanic for the works Mazda workforce in 1986, earlier than having fun with roles on the Jolly Membership Lancia workforce (1991-1996) and Prodrive in 1997.

Working alongside McRae and Carlos Sainz at M-Sport was Steiner’s final function in WRC earlier than transferring into F1 first with Jaguar in 2001 after which Crimson Bull (2005-2008) earlier than becoming a member of Haas as workforce principal in 2014.

Steiner mirrored on his time working with McRae at Ford in a visitor look on the WRC’s official podcast this week, the place he labelled the Scot, who died in a helicopter crash in 2007, as one of the vital pure drivers he’s ever seen. 

“I received on very effectively with Colin,” mentioned Steiner on the WRC Backstories podcast. “On the time I believe everybody needed Colin.

“In fact there was cash and being a Scotsman cash was necessary for Colin, nevertheless it wasn’t all the pieces and I believe Malcolm [Wilson – M-Sport boss] may persuade him in regards to the future. Malcolm was a driver himself so he may clarify to Colin the place he desires to go and due to this fact he joined Ford. 

“Colin was the person on the time and I believe there’ll by no means be anyone, I imply there may be at all times anyone, however I haven’t seen anybody with the sheer expertise Colin had on the time. 

“For him, all the pieces was pure he didn’t must put any effort in to drive a automobile fast, it was simply there. Some folks can discuss lots like me however he can drive quick. I believe he was probably the most gifted driver I ever met.

“He was fairly good [at giving feedback]. If one thing didn’t work, he was fairly good at telling you. He was fairly straight ahead. 

Colin McRae, Subaru Impreza 555

Colin McRae, Subaru Impreza 555

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“For Colin, all the pieces was pure, both it labored or it didn’t work after which the remaining was your drawback. 

“Carlos was going into element and with Colin it was sure or no, there was nothing in between. If it was no it was your drawback. It was black or white. In the event you had a superb check it was very pleasing to check with Colin, but when it went badly it was the least pleasing check you could possibly do as a result of he was pissed off as a result of he thought he was losing his time.”

Whereas McRae loved a profession largely primarily based round rallying, the Scotsman did flirt with F1 courtesy of a run out with the Jordan F1 workforce at Silverstone in 1996.    

Steiner was requested if he would contemplate returning to his rallying roots sooner or later, including: “By no means say by no means. I’ve mentioned it earlier than, I by no means had a plan to be a F1 workforce principal and I received there and labored my approach there so I don’t know what’s coming subsequent. I by no means say by no means to something, all the pieces can occur. 

“For me, if there’s a problem or a possibility I am going there. If there’s something I discover fascinating it may be something. I received’t say sure I’m going again to rallying or no I’m not. I don’t know.”  

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Guenther Steiner, Group Principal, Haas F1

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Photographs

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