It has been an eventful day in the world of Formula 1, primarily triggered by Haas, as the key talking points kept on coming.
Guenther Steiner, who had been with the Haas Formula 1 team since before day one, has been shown the exit door, with Steiner not the only high-profile departure from Haas today.
All this and more, so let us dive into the action…
Guenther Steiner leaves Haas
Steiner built the very foundations of the Haas F1 team, securing Gene Haas’ backing, the pivotal Ferrari and Dallara partnerships and handling all the personnel interviews to get the team onto the grid in 2016.
However, the Steiner era is over, Haas confirming his immediate departure with Ayao Komatsu promoted to the team principal role.
Gene Haas hints at main factor behind Guenther Steiner exit
Steiner leaving Haas was certainly not a development expected by many; team owner Gene Haas, in a team statement, offered some insight on why this shock decision was made.
Far from an F1 novice, Steiner having worked with Jaguar and Red Bull prior to Haas, Gene suggested a different mentality at the “heart” of the team’s leadership was needed, which can be provided by someone from an engineering background in Komatsu.
Martin Brundle senses Haas-Guenther Steiner ‘friction’
While the statement featured quotes from both Gene Haas and Komatsu, there were no words at all from Steiner.
And in the opinion of ex-F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle, this means the parting of ways was not on good terms.
“Always significant when the departing person is not quoted in the press release, tells you there’s friction, suspect we’ll hear more about this,” said Brundle in a social media post.
Guenther Steiner not only high-profile Haas departure
Incredibly, Steiner was the second Haas senior staff member confirmed to have left the building on this day.
A few hours prior to this bombshell, it emerged that Haas technical director Simone Resta had departed the team, with tension once more suggested as a contributing factor, Motorsport.com’s Italian arm referencing this and a lack of “motivation” on Resta’s side.
McLaren welcome in two ‘mega’ new arrivals
Not all the major talking points were Haas-related today, as while the team now embarks on a new era which they believe will bring positive results for them, the same is true at McLaren, a team rejuvenated by their miraculous F1 2023 surge.
And ahead of the new campaign, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown welcomed the arrival of two key new players in their senior staff ranks, David Sanchez, formerly of Ferrari, and ex-Red Bull stalwart Rob Marshall, branded an “asset” recently by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Jenson Button believes Lewis Hamilton ‘outright speed’ remains
It has been a frustrating couple of seasons for seven-time World Champion Hamilton, who has found himself going from fighting for a record-breaking eighth crown, to without a win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen is now very much the dominant force, but Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button says we should not be interpreting this slump in Hamilton’s results as a decline in his speed.
“Lewis is as good as ever I would say in terms of his outright speed,” he told Sky Sports.