Guenther Steiner details ‘very short call’ as he was axed by Gene Haas

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner, Haas

Former Haas team boss Guenther Steiner in full flow.

Guenther Steiner has revealed the phone call from Gene Haas to inform him he was no longer Haas’ F1 team boss was “very short” as he didn’t feel a need to debate it with the team owner.

Haas announced last month that Steiner, the American outfit’s team principal since its inception, had left the team with immediate effect.

Rather than being sacked, team owner Gene Haas just didn’t offer Steiner a new deal.

Gene Haas called Guenther Steiner ‘out of the blue’ to sack him

Despite Haas having finished last year’s championship at the bottom of the log after their B-spec VF-23 failed to fire, the announcement was unexpected.

Even Steiner didn’t see it coming, the Italian informed of Gene Haas’ decision in what he revealed was a “very short” phone call.

“He called me up,” Steiner said to Autocar. “It was out of the blue. I was like: ‘Okay, what do you want to tell me?’

“He said: ‘I don’t want to extend the contract.’

“I said: ‘In the end, it’s your decision. It’s your team and the contract is up. What can I do? Do I think it’s right or not? Whatever I say, you’ll disagree with it. So leave it at that.’

“It was a very short call; it wasn’t a big discussion or anything. It was also very strange. You work with somebody for 10 years and you get a call [like that]…

“It’s weird. I was okay. I just move on. It’s fine.

“Anyway, I couldn’t believe anymore in what was happening there.” recommends

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Guenther Steiner blames Gene Haas’ lack of investment for dwindling form

Steiner went on to explain why he no longer believed in the Haas project.

While Gene Haas spoke of his “embarrassment” over Haas’ performances, the former team boss blames the owner for that as he claims the American “didn’t want” to spend money on infrastructure that would allow Haas to do more in-house.

That lack of investment, Steiner says, has hurt the team.

“Something needed to change,” he said. “I’m not saying that Haas did it wrong. All the other ones did it right.

“F1 changed from when Haas started to where it went in the past five years. It’s a completely different ball game. They’re all strong teams.

“You just need to open your eyes, if you understand F1, and look at what the other ones do – and Haas isn’t doing it. At some stage, you can’t get anywhere with [Haas’s] approach. It’s just not time-representative anymore.

“Once everybody understood this budget cap, everybody started to invest in the infrastructure to get the best out of the operational budget.

“At the moment, if you buy stuff [from external suppliers], it isn’t the best way to do it. You need to invest, not to just spend money but invest money to get money, and Gene didn’t want to do that.

“And again, if he doesn’t want to do it, he’s perfectly right not to do it. I’m not trying to teach him how to do things, because he owns the team.”

Haas, who revealed their 2024 livery last Friday, promoted Ayao Komatsu to the team boss role with the team continuing with Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen as their drivers.

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