Haas ‘lobby’ details emerge as team became ‘Guenther Steiner show’

Sam Cooper
Guenther Steiner

Some members of Haas were reportedly concerned about Guenther Steiner’s role.

Sky Sports’ Craig Slater has revealed that there was a “lobby” within Haas which believed it had become the “Guenther Steiner show” during his tenure as team principal.

Steiner departed the organisation he had been at for 10 years last week after his contract was not extended following a disappointing 2023 campaign.

And while many will feel Steiner was Haas, that impression reportedly rubbed some members of the team up the wrong way.

Haas concerned about Guenther Steiner approach

Steiner’s departure was a surprise one with no one expecting his unceremonious exit, even if the team had finished last in the 2023 standings.

But according to Sky Sports reporter Slater, there was a growing feeling of discontent within the Haas team.

“There was a bit of a lobby within the Haas team,” he said on the broadcaster’s podcast. “Those who weren’t so fond of Guenther Steiner who was casting this up.

“’Is this the Guenther Steiner show?’ Should we be doing all this while the team isn’t performing so well?’ And maybe that has had an effect on him ultimately being replaced.

“I think there are quite a lot of people there who are very disappointed Guenther has gone. Like everywhere, there’ll be people who are thinking ‘oh well, maybe I’m not so sure I like the guy who’s taking over so much.’

“And then there’ll be others who will think ‘no, I understand where Ayao [Komatsu] is coming from. This is a positive move for me.’ But I think yes, it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to all of this.”

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But as to what was the main sticking point between Gene Haas and Steiner, while the owner was unhappy with results, the team principal was unhappy with the facilities.

“Guenther Steiner, I’ve been told, desperately wanted significant investment in the factory in Banbury and in the general infrastructure of the team,” Slater continued.

“He thought they’d outgrown that facility and they needed to invest a bit more to move the team forward.

“Gene wanted to see progress on track before he would spend heavily again on fresh equipment and expansion of the infrastructure at that Banbury base.

“The Steiner way of mind was lamenting the fact that the facilities were way behind their competitors. Somebody said to me today ‘I had to block four engineers and I had to block four other staff members in to park my car today.’

“Well there’s little things like that if you’re looking to attract the best from Alpine or even Mercedes or others, they’re going to come around and say ‘what’s the operation here? What’s my workplace?'”

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