New Haas boss gives glimpse into ‘no bullsh*t’ approach with Kevin Magnussen admission made

Mark Scott
Ayao Komatsu pictured at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

Ayao Komatsu has taken over from Guenther Steiner as Haas F1 team boss.

New Haas boss Ayao Komatsu has given F1 fans an early insight into his managerial style as he prepares to fill the big boots left behind Guenther Steiner.

Haas sent early shockwaves across the world of F1 earlier this month after it was confirmed that F1’s ‘rockstar’ boss, Steiner, did not have his contract renewed at the end of the F1 2023 season.

Instead, team owner Gene Haas has employed from within and put a more technical mind to the seismic task of bringing ‘America’s F1 team’ out from the dark and dingy basement battle.

A glimpse into Ayao Komatsu’s managerial philosophy

And Komatsu has explained what his F1 2024 driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg can expect from him whilst he is calling the shots.

Taking the quotes at face value, it appears Komatsu could be just as forceful as Steiner, just in a slightly more considered way.

“Obviously, I’ve known Kevin [Magnussen] for some years,” Komatsu said, as quoted by “Nico [Hulkenberg], I really enjoyed working with him last year. I didn’t know him before.

“Although actually, when I was working with Lotus, he came for a seat fit, I can’t remember which year, and he remembered that as well.

“They both know that I’m quite straightforward. I say what I think. Not being aggressive or anything, but no bullsh*t, it’s just that we haven’t got time to waste.

“They know exactly where I am then, where they are, and we work well together. In terms of our strengths and weaknesses, we understand each other pretty well.

“We’ve got a good open and transparent dialogue, so I’m happy with that.”’s recommended reading

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Both Magnussen and Hulkenberg struggled with the wretched VF-23 in both its A-spec and B-spec forms, but Komatsu is hoping that the VF-24, due to be launched on February 11, will give Magnussen in particular a better platform to showcase his talents.

“I wouldn’t say eliminated, that’s a big word,” Komatsu said, when asked if Haas had manage to remove its glaring weaknesses during production of their 2024 challenger. “But certainly, we have improved on it.

“He’s a driver who needs good entry stability and consistent handling through a corner.”

Both Magnussen and Hulkenberg are racing for their F1 futures in 2024, the duo on a lengthy list of 14 drivers who are currently out of contract at the end of the upcoming season.

Read next: The 14 drivers out of contract at the end of the F1 2024 season