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All change at Haas

NEWS STORY
16/01/2024

Ayao Komatsu is appointed new team principal at Haas as Guenther Steiner and technical director Simone Resta leave the American team.

Steiner, who in all honesty has appeared at times to be more interested in promoting himself than getting his team into shape, departs the organisation with immediate effect, having led its operations for the past decade.

Komatsu, who is promoted from his role as Director of Engineering, has been with the team since its debut season in 2016, starting as its Chief Race Engineer.

With over 20 years of F1 experience, both in engineering and management, the 47-year-old Japanese engineering graduate commenced his career in motorsport at BAR before a long tenure at Renault. He will now oversee all competition elements of the business as Team Principal, taking responsibility for the team's overall strategy, and ultimately on-track performance, with a brief to maximize the team's potential through employee empowerment and structural process and efficiency.

To further strengthen team operations off-track, and in support of Komatsu's performance-led focus as Team Principal, a European-based Chief Operating Officer will be appointed to manage all non-competition matters and departments, the role expected to be based at the team's Banbury facility.

"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," said Gene Haas. "Moving forward as an organization it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao as Team Principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management."

"We have had some successes," he added, "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."

"I'm naturally very excited to have the opportunity to be appointed Team Principal," said Komatsu. "Having been with the team since its track-debut back in 2016 I'm obviously passionately invested in its success in Formula 1. I'm looking forward to leading our program and the various competitive operations internally to ensure we can build a structure that produces improved on-track performances."

"We are a performance-based business," he continued. "We obviously haven't been competitive enough recently which has been a source of frustration for us all. We have amazing support from Gene and our various partners, and we want to mirror their enthusiasm with an improved on-track product. We have a great team of people across Kannapolis, Banbury and Maranello and together I know we can achieve the kind of results we're capable of."

While Haas has confirmed the departure of Steiner it has yet to official comment on claims that Simone Resta has also left the team, the Italian having joined the American outfit from Ferrari in 2021 as the two companied sought to forge closer ties.

In the absence of any official comment Resta has been linked with a return to Ferrari, though he has also been linked with Sauber, with whom he previously worked during its Alfa Romeo incarnation.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 14/01/2024 12:03

"@Brighton Corgi. Exactement mon ami."

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2. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 13/01/2024 13:17

"@kenji - Nobody beats the IRS unless you're in the favored political circles

https://www.thecamarilloacorn.com/articles/haas-receives-2-year-term-for-defrauding-irs/"

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3. Posted by kenji, 12/01/2024 12:12

"@Brighton Corgi...he didn't win ,... against the IRS!"

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4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 11/01/2024 13:43

"Gene Haas is use to winning both on and off the track. This change is long overdue."

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5. Posted by kenji, 10/01/2024 23:32

"One of the biggest jokes in F1 has finally played out. There are many aspects to consider but without any details being advanced it is hard to know where to start. There is a clue though to what I believe may be at the base of these decisions made by the Team owner. Haas states that 'this truly reflects upon my desire to compete PROPERLY in F1'. That says to me that he had given Steiner enough time and resources to lift the team performances and it simply wasn't working. That then begs the question regards Hass's motive for being in F1 at all!. I'm sure that things may well become clearer as time passes but ATM it would be safe to assume that Haas won't be earning big points this year. "

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6. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 10/01/2024 23:13

"@mds67 - I reckon Haas read that Chris Medland interview that Steiner did (in RACER magazine) and it suddenly dawned on him that GŁnther simply hadn’t got a clue about how to move the team forward. Not only did he have no clue, but he basically said nothing much needed to change. "

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7. Posted by Burton, 10/01/2024 22:31

"Can their model even work in the ground-effect era of holistic car development? From the quotes Gene doesn't seem to understand this, or is content with treading water.
Now, in actual franchise leagues like the NBA/NHL, with 32 teams you can get away with the odd disaster outfit... if F1 keeps parroting that line of thinking and enable adventureless entities like Haas they'll just sleepwalk into becoming a mediocre F2-type grid."

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8. Posted by mds167, 10/01/2024 21:20

"Was there a falling out between Haas and Steiner over ownership of the team and remuneration? Or was that just scurrilous rumour?"

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9. Posted by Defiant, 10/01/2024 20:31

"I understand the removal of GS as he always seemed to be antagonistic with his staff. I would imagine it would be hard to be at the top of your game when he so often and so publicly berated his crew.
Lots of people, particularly many (if not most) of the younger generations would struggle with people like that.
However, I personally love people who tell it like it is, I find it healthy to discuss openly and even disagree with people without any behind the back nonsense. So I will miss him, his plain talking was a fun insight into what he really thought. "

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10. Posted by Celtic Tiger, 10/01/2024 20:08

"I would love to see the "behind-the-scenes" Guenther Steiner as a commentator. "

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11. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 10/01/2024 20:01

"Strange that head of engineering promoted, when the problems seem to be engineering/aero related......."

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12. Posted by Superbird70, 10/01/2024 18:58

"Maybe if Andretti gets in, Haas can get the Cadillac engines and see some improvement under the new rules."

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13. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 10/01/2024 18:46

"In short, perhaps Gene Haas is tired of his team looking like a "bunch of w..." results wise, which would be affecting the value of his team?"

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14. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 10/01/2024 18:10

"Gunther Steiner:- “So at the moment we need to be patient and conscious and work with this business concept we are using now, with this model, and just try to get back to where we were a few years ago."

Gene Haas:- “You’re fired!”
"

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15. Posted by KKK, 10/01/2024 18:07

"What a real disappointment that Gunther will not be there. In F1 fir done one who says exactly what he thinks is rare. I hope he emerges somewhere in F1. Good luck to his replacement, he gas hiz work cut out!"

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