Simone Resta, who departed the Haas technical director role on the same day as Guenther Steiner’s shock exit, will reportedly return to Ferrari, with speculation over a clash with Gene Haas addressed.
January 10 was a rather busy day for the Haas F1 team, kicking-off with the news that Resta had left the team having served as their technical director since 2021.
Just a few hours later, the team announced that team principal Steiner had left too with trackside engineering director Ayao Komatsu confirmed as his replacement.
Simone Resta returns to Ferrari as non-F1 role looms
As the announcement came through of Resta’s sudden Haas exit, Motorsport.com had suggested disagreements with team owner Gene Haas – plus a lack of “motivation” on Resta’s side – had prompted him to leave the team.
However, the official Formula 1 website is now reporting that rather the loan arrangement for Resta between Haas and their technical partner for Ferrari has expired with Resta returning to the Italian outfit.
It is added that Resta’s currently unspecified role with Ferrari will not involve him working with their Formula 1 team.
Resta is a veteran of the Ferrari F1 team, first joining them back in 2001 and ascending to the role of design chief by 2014.
Come 2018 he joined Sauber – like Haas, a Ferrari power unit customer – as their technical director for a stint lasting just over a year before taking on that role with Haas in 2021 after a stint back with Ferrari.
The upheaval in the team’s senior staff ranks comes at a crucial time for Haas, with the team owner admitting his “big concern” is now getting the VF-24 car ready for the season ahead.
He added that performance was just not good enough in his eyes after Haas returned to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship in 2023.
Addressing speculation over a lack of funding at the team, Haas told the Formula 1 website: “There is a perception we spend a lot less money; we’re usually within $10m of the budget limit. I just think we don’t do a very good job of spending that money.
“A lot of teams have had previous investments in their infrastructure, buildings, equipment and personnel. Our model was to outsource a lot of that. We spend a lot of money. We haven’t exceeded the cap but we’re pretty darn close to it. I just don’t think we’re doing a very good job of spending it in the most effective way.
“That’s one of the reasons we [Haas’s Automation business] have survived – because we are so conscious of how we spend money.
“Being efficient at what we do is going to make sure we survive in this series. We’re one of the longest surviving teams, everyone else [other new teams] have had the tendency to spend all their money in the first few years and then they go out of business.
“We survived for eight years, and we’re not in a situation where we are going to go out of business. But I certainly want to be able to survive for the next 10 years.”
The Haas team also plans to appoint a new chief operating officer to assist Komatsu by handling all non-competition and off-track matters.