Steiner confirms Haas refuses to back new Force India in prize money dispute

Team boss Guenther Steiner confirmed Thursday that Haas has declined to sign a deal that would enable the re-born Force India team to have a right to earn prize money.

Steiner said the American team wanted further clarification from Formula One's American owners, Liberty Media, explaining why the Silverstone-based outfit, taken over by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, should receive special treatment.

"What we need to understand is, with the new licence, why there is a reason not to be treated (like a team) with a new licence," he said.

"That is what we want to understand -- and we cannot explain that to ourselves, as someone needs to explain it to us, and that hasn't happened yet."

Talking to reporters, he was asked directly if Haas had signed up to the new deal for Force India.

He said: "No. With the new licence, we didn't sign up for that. We still need to understand why it should be different."

Last weekend in Belgium, the Force India team finished fifth and sixth after a rain-aided lockout of the second row of the grid, in their first outing since being bought out of administration.

It was a "fairy tale" result that was celebrated with glee by the team.

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer was delighted, also, by the agreement that he believed was unanimous in the pit lane to allow the new Force India team to retain the old team's prize money.

"The remaining nine teams have signed, so to speak, a document that enables us to keep the money that Sahara Force India had earned in years past," he said, not knowing at the time that Haas had refused to sign up.