Guenther Steiner parts ways with Haas F1 Team

Haas finished bottom of the 2023 F1 Constructor Standings

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Haas have sensationally parted company with team principal Guenther Steiner in a surprising turn of events ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season, citing the need for improvements on track.

The 58-year-old has been at Haas since its inception as a team in 2014. Under his leadership, Haas made its debut in the 2016 F1 season and quickly gained recognition for its aggressive approach and rapid development. 

But recent seasons have seen Haas drop to the back of the F1 grid most notably in the 2021 campaign where they never developed the car, instead focussing on 2022. And again in 2023 where late season upgrades never had the desired effect and Haas ended the season bottom of the F1 pile.

“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,” Haas team owner Gene Haas said in a statement.

Steiner‘s tenure saw the team achieving notable successes, including a strong debut race and occasional point finishes. And his management style was often characterised by his straightforwardness and a no-nonsense attitude.

His often animated approach to team management, which was enhanced following appearances in the F1 Netflix Series ‘Drive to Survive’ where Steiner‘s candid, and often colourful, language painted a vivid picture of the pressures and challenges of running a Formula 1 team.

Ayao Komatsu, who was director of engineering for Haas, will take over as team principal for the 2024 F1 season.

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

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas F1 during the United States GP | LAT Images/Haas F1 Team

“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 maximise our potential – this truly reflects my desire to compete properly in Formula 1.”

Guenther Steiner’s record at Haas F1 Team

Despite early successes, the Haas team faced various challenges under Steiner‘s leadership. The team struggled with consistency on the track and faced difficulties in maintaining competitive performance against more established teams. 

Moreover, Haas‘ relationships with sponsors and drivers occasionally made headlines, bringing additional scrutiny to Steiner‘s management choices.

  • 2016 F1 Season: The team made an impressive debut with Romain Grosjean finishing sixth in their first-ever race, the Australian Grand Prix. Haas ended the season eighth in the Constructors’ Championship with 29 points, the most successful debut for a new team in the sport since Toyota in 2002.
  • 2017 F1 Season: Haas continued to show promise, finishing eighth in the Constructor Standings again, improving their points tally to 47. The team made strides in performance, but consistency remained a challenge.
  • 2018 F1 Season: The team’s most successful season under Steiner. Haas finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, amassing 93 points. This season marked the team’s peak performance, showcasing its potential in the highly competitive Formula 1 field.
  • 2019-2022 F1 Seasons: These years were more challenging, with the team struggling to maintain their earlier momentum. They grappled with performance issues, financial constraints, and the dynamic nature of Formula 1 racing. The team’s best Constructors’ Championship position in these years was ninth, with a notable dip in form and points.
  • 2023 F1 Season: The most recent season under Steiner saw Haas facing continued challenges, struggling to climb back to the competitive form they once showed.

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