Haas confirms resignation of team principal Guenther Steiner

Haas confirms resignation of team principal Guenther Steiner

Haas confirmed on Wednesday that Guenther Steiner has resigned from his position as team principal with immediate effect.

Haas announced an unexpected split from team principal Guenther Steiner, pointing out their scheduled changes in advance of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

The 58-year-old has been a part of Haas since the team’s launch in 2014. Haas made its F1 debut in 2016 and picked up notoriety for its bold strategy and swift progress under Steiner’s supervision.

Gene Haas, co-owner of Stewart Haas Racing in NASCAR, established the squad which is powered by Ferrari power units. However, in the last three seasons the team has finished last and failed to secure a single podium finish.

The American outfit concluded the 2021 season with no championship points as they focused on the 2022 regulation changes, and secured a climb up the grid to eighth in the constructor’s classification as the reward for their efforts.

However, they were back at the bottom of the grid last season, which prompted one of the most popular bosses in the sport to step down. The director of engineering Ayao Komatsu will take his place as the new team principal.

In a statement on Wednesday, team owner Gene Haas said: “I’d like to start by extending my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade and I wish him well for the future.

“Moving forward as an organisation it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao Komatsu as team principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.

“We have had some successes, but we need to be consistent in delivering results that help us reach our wider goals as an organization. We need to be efficient with the resources we have but improving our design and engineering capability is key to our success as a team.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ayao and fundamentally ensuring that we maximize our potential – this truly reflects my desire to compete properly in Formula 1.”

Strangely, there were no remarks from Steiner himself in the Haas statement, implying that his departure was not amicable.

Thanks to the wildly successful Drive to Survive, Steiner’s profile shot to popularity and since the premiere of the docuseries in 2019, he has established a very strong media presence.

His use of aggressive language and confrontations with his drivers garnered him a fan base, even as he received widespread recognition for how he took charge of the dismissal of Nikita Mazepin in 2022.

However, things did not improve from the record achievement of a fifth-place constructors result in 2018, despite his heroics off the track coupled with the incredibly experienced pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen in 2023.

“Thanks, Guenther. Thanks for taking me on the journey in 2017 and thanks for bringing me on board again in 2022,” Haas driver Kevin Magnussen wrote on Twitter.

“It has been both fun and tremendously challenging – but never boring. So long and all the best.”

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