Unsurprisingly, it’s Haas and Guenther Steiner who dominated the headlines on Wednesday following their bombshell split…
Guenther Steiner, who had been with the Haas Formula 1 team since before day one, has been shown the exit door, and the fallout from that shock split dominated the F1 news headlines throughout Wednesday.
All this and more, so let us dive into the action…
Guenther Steiner leaves Haas – and doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye
With Steiner and Haas going their separate ways, details on the nature of the split have started to emerge. According to Sky Sports News journalist Craig Slater, the decision to split may have been made during December and, as a consequence of Steiner living in the United States, he didn’t get the chance to say goodbye at the factory to the team he’s worked with for almost a decade.
“I learned about this at the weekend, but some people I’ve spoken to say they’ve known about it for a couple of weeks now,” said Slater.
“As far as I can glean, a surprise to him that he would not be getting his contract renewed.
“We can’t say he’s been sacked, because his contract had come to an end and Gene has decided not to renew that.”
Gene Haas’ concern over VF-24 readiness
With Haas losing their team boss – now replaced by Ayao Komatsu – and having lost technical director Simone Resta at the same time, Gene Haas has admitted his main concern at this point of the season is ensuring the new VF-24 isn’t compromised by the time F1 lands in Bahrain ready for the season to begin.
“My biggest concern is when we go to Bahrain, we need to show up with a car that is ready to go,” he said in an interview for the Formula 1 website.
Having appointed Komatsu, a senior engineer, to the team leadership role, Haas said his promotion made the most sense.
“We looked from within, at who had the most experience,” said Haas on the decision to give Komatsu the team principal position. “Ayao has been with the team since day one, he knows the ins and outs of it.
“Maybe having more of a managerial-type and engineering approach, we’ll see if that has benefits.”
Guenther Steiner set to break silence at Autosport International
Just a few short days after the announcement, Steiner had been due to appear at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham.
In light of the news, it was feared Steiner would fail to keep this appointment – after all, he has bigger things on his mind right now.
But, enthrallingly for us and F1 fans everywhere, Steiner will definitely still be appearing at the show on January 13th where he’ll field questions from Sky F1’s David Croft in a ‘not to be missed’ interview!
PlanetF1.com will be reporting live from Autosport International, with our very own Sam Cooper in attendance!
FIA President ‘knows who is attacking him’
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has given an extensive interview in which he has alleged he knows who is behind what he views are attacks upon his leadership of the governing body.
“They are media representatives, they know how it works,” he told Motosport Magazin. “People don’t want to wake up and read: The sky is blue, the grass is green, the birds are singing.
“At the end of the day, I know who is attacking me. And they think I don’t know.
“Do you really think I would be in this position if I had stupid people around me? Of course, my team is very smart.
“The paddock is a very small circle, everyone knows everyone. You know who leaked something or invented something about me. I know it. And what do I do? I smile about it. I know who’s behind it and then I smile at them.”
Gene Haas reveals ’embarrassment’ over Ferrari engine underperformance
Having tried to bring you some non-Haas-related news, we quickly return to more from Gene Haas’ reaction to Guenther Steiner’s departure.
In the same interview, Haas spoke of his embarrassment at how his team have failed to exploit the equipment – such as power units – sold to them by Ferrari to their full potential.
“Ferrari has been very good to us,” he said.
“They have been with us since day one, they build incredible engines. Their suspension is extremely good. We have been using a lot of their hardware. It works really well.
“They really do help us. I’m embarrassed that we haven’t been able to do better with it but going forward, I want to take advantage of good equipment that a lot of other teams don’t have.