F1 sponsorship may be hard to secure, but Haas boss Guenther Steiner says his team will require outside backing sooner rather than later.
Since its arrival in Grand Prix racing two year ago, the US outfit has relied on funding from Haas Automation, the CNC machine tool manufacturer founded by Gene Haas.
The team's annual budget as a mid-field team is estimated at $130M with over two-thirds of its income supplied by Haas Automation while approximately $13M comes from outside sponsorship.
Steiner insists that in the future, those numbers will need to be reversed.
"I think that's a priority, it's just difficult to get sponsors," the Austrian manager told Motorsport.com.
"You see it on the other teams, the big teams, even they struggle. And for us as a small team, it's even more difficult.
"And then what we need to avoid is to give ourselves away too cheap, because then you never recover. If you sell yourself cheap, you never get value for it anymore."
From the outset, Haas' approach to F1 has been based on a close technical partnership with Ferrari, a choice which so far has yielded relatively good results.
Asked whether the US squad would be open to a brand association with a manufacturer similar to Sauber's new partnership with Alfa Romeo, Steiner says he isn't against the idea.
"Why not? We are open always to talks," he said.
"If somebody's got some ideas, yeah, for sure we are interested in it. But is it our priority? Maybe not."