Haas F1 team owner Gene Haas suggested an engineer mentality is needed in their leadership moving forward, having grown dissatisfied with results under Guenther Steiner.
Shortly after the surprise departure of technical director Simone Resta was confirmed, the breaking news kept on coming with the announcement that team principal Guenther Steiner was out too.
Haas F1 was built on the foundations laid by Steiner, who reached out to Gene Haas, secured their crucial Ferrari and Dallara partnerships and interviewed all personnel to bring the outfit together ready for joining the grid in 2016.
Gene Haas hopes engineer mentality improves results
For the first time in their Formula 1 history though, Haas now has a brand new team principal, with Ayao Komatsu assuming the position as he is promoted from the trackside engineering director role which he had held since 2016.
In the statement to confirm Steiner’s departure, Gene Haas would offer an insight into why the shock decision has been made, suggesting that a different mentality is needed in the leadership structure.
Haas slumped to P10 and last in the F1 2023 Constructors’ Championship, a result which understandably did not please the owner, who now wants an engineer in Komatsu to be steering the ship.
“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 organisation it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao Komatsu as team principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.”
Haas continued: “We have had some successes, but we need to be consistent in delivering results that help us reach our wider goals as an organisation. 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.”
Haas had introduced at the 2023 United States Grand Prix, to limited effect, a B-Spec VF-23 as the team embarked on a learning exercise for F1 2024, preparing to continue their concept transition towards that of the dominant Red Bull team.
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