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Haas F1 Team Decision on Günther Steiner
Haas F1 Team Decision on Günther Steiner

Gene Haas Details Reasons for Steiner’s Dismissal

11/01/2024

Gene Haas, owner of Haas F1 Team, has made a pivotal decision about the team’s direction, parting ways with Günther Steiner, its leader since 2016. This move, driven by performance considerations, marks a significant shift in the team’s strategy.

Recently elaborated on the Formula 1 official website about his decision announced yesterday to part ways with Günther Steiner, who has led his team since its inception and entry into the sport in 2016.

Despite the strong bond between the two men, it was no longer viable to continue in the same manner.

“It was a matter of performance,” Haas insists.

“We are in our eighth year, out of 160 races – we have never reached the podium. In recent years, we’ve been 10th or 9th.”

“I’m not sitting here saying it’s Günther’s fault, or anything like that, but it seems that it was the right time to make a change and try a different direction, as it doesn’t seem that continuing with what we had was really going to work.”

Haas admits that it was difficult to tell Steiner he had to leave.

“It’s true, I like Günther, he’s a really nice person, a very good personality. But we had a difficult end to the year. I don’t understand it, not at all. These are good questions to ask Günther: what didn’t work? In the end, it’s about performance. I have no interest in being 10th.”

Finishing last for the second time in three years was no longer acceptable for the American. To regain his position in the pack this season, he has placed his trust in Ayao Komatsu, the 47-year-old Japanese who knows the team inside out, having joined as chief race engineer in its first year and eventually moving up to the position of engineering director. With over 20 years of experience in F1, this played a key role in convincing Gene Haas that he was the right replacement.

“We looked internally at who had the most experience. Ayao has been part of the team from day one, he knows the ins and outs. My biggest concern is that when we go to Bahrain, we need to show up with a car that’s ready to go. Maybe by adopting a more managerial and technical approach, we’ll see if it has any benefits.”

“Günther had a more human approach to everything that involved people and how he interacted with them; he was very good in that area. Ayao is very technical; he looks at things based on statistics: here’s what we’re doing wrong, where can we do better. It’s a different approach. We really need something different because we weren’t really doing well. As I said, it all comes down to eight years in F1 and we’re last. I can’t say more about that.”

Haas F1 Team Decision : Stability Over Change”

Why not choose a former team principal? For a few hours, rumors circulated, particularly around Mattia Binotto, who is available, or Otmar Szafnauer, who is still in notice until July.

“I’ve been running Haas Automation for over 40 years now. When you bring in people from the outside, it takes them time to learn, six months to a year, and most of the time, you don’t particularly like them. It’s better to take people you know, and even if they don’t fit perfectly, at least you know what you’re getting.”

“This has worked pretty well for us here at Haas Automation, so I’m really applying many of the basic elements of my business to the Formula 1 team. I really like having people I know, who understand the day-to-day operations, who understand the people, rather than bringing in a stranger who’s going to shake everything up and create chaos.”

Decision on Günther Steiner and Haas F1 Team’s Direction. Decision on Günther Steiner and Haas F1 Team’s Direction

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