Martin Brundle spots ‘significant’ detail in shock Guenther Steiner exit

Jamie Woodhouse
Guenther Steiner, former Haas principal.

Former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.

Former F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle is convinced there was “friction” behind the parting of ways for Haas and Guenther Steiner, since the announcing statement featured no words from Steiner.

Haas is set to embark on a new era in their journey as the F1 2024 campaign will mark the first time in their history that Steiner is not there calling the shots as team principal.

Instead, with the team having made the shock announcement that Steiner was out with immediate effect, it was confirmed that Ayao Komatsu will assume the team principal position, promoted from the trackside engineering director role which he had held since Haas joined the grid in 2016.

Martin Brundle detects ‘tension’ from Guenther Steiner silence

The statement released by Haas to confirm Steiner’s immediate departure from the team included quotes from team owner Gene Haas, as well as Komatsu, but notably there were no words from Steiner included.

And so Brundle says this is a clear indication that both parties did not split on harmonious 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.

“The team hasn’t progressed in recent seasons, but hard to know exactly why without being on the inside. Good luck Guenther. And Haas.” recommends

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Shedding further light on the split, Gene Haas hinted that his thinking was the team needed an engineer at the “heart” of their management in Komatsu, after the team returned to the foot of the Constructors’ Championship in 2023.

“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.

“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.”

On the same day it also emerged that technical director Simone Resta had left Haas.

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