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Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress

Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress

27/04/2024

Under Ayao Komatsu’s leadership, Haas F1 shows remarkable improvement, balancing technical acumen with calm efficiency to challenge mid-field teams despite limited resources.

Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress

With five points in five races, the haul may seem meager but the top 5 are likely to leave only crumbs this year for the last five teams in the pack. This is mainly due to the significant gap between the top five teams and the last five on the grid.

The American team is at the heart of the race to be “the best of the rest,” which would hardly have been conceivable before the season started.

It’s hard to say how much of these improvements are due to Komatsu, who was the team’s engineering director before taking the highest post and who has been working in F1 for over 20 years.

Nico Hülkenberg, who has announced his departure for the Sauber/Audi F1 project from 2025, made a point of emphasizing that this vast experience plays a role.

“He is very competent, he knows all the different departments, he understands how everything needs to function. I think he’s really busy focusing on optimizing the current setup that we have without more money, without more infrastructure, and simply maximizing and optimizing the F1 that we have.”

While the frequent explosions and colorful language of Steiner have made him a star of Drive to Survive, Komatsu projects a very different image as a team boss.

Hülkenberg described Komatsu’s leadership style as “calm and efficient” when asked, while his teammate, Kevin Magnussen, called him “focused, humble, and supportive”.

“He’s a very different kind of team leader. He’s an engineer and sees things from a technical standpoint. I think that’s very helpful for the development of the car,” said the Dane.

Komatsu admits that finishing 10th and last in the 2024 season would be a disappointment.

“If you look at our race pace, we are eighth or ninth. Now, the development race is approaching and we all know we are the smallest team. So for me, achieving eighth place this year would already be a huge bet to win. We need to keep our feet on the ground and be realistic.”

Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress

Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress. Komatsu Leads Haas F1 to Surprising Progress

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