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gene haas

Haas: I have no interest in being 10th anymore

gene haas

Haas Formula 1 team owner Gene Haas admitted his frustration with outgoing Team Principal Guenther Steiner’s results over the eight years of the team’s existence.

Out of the blue, Haas announced that their long-serving and only team boss since they started in F1, Guenther Steiner will be leaving his position immediately, with Ayao Komatsu taking over the top job at the American outfit.

Haas joined the sport in 2016, with a new concept on how to race in F1, outsourcing their chassis to Dallara and as many parts as allowed by the rules, but since then, their position in the Constructors’ Championship has hovered in eighth, ninth and tenth, with 2018 being an exception as they finished fifth.

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And while many credit Steiner for keeping the team alive in tough circumstances through Covid-19, losing Uralkali sponsorship not the mention Rich Energy Sponsorship fiasco.

But on track results have been lacking, and it seems owner Gene Haas, who has kept a low profile recently is fed up.

Reflecting on the decision to part ways with Steiner, Haas gave the reasons in an interview with Formula 1’s Official Website, he said: “It came down to performance.

“Here we are in our eighth year, over 160 races – we have never had a podium. The last couple of years, we’ve been 10th or ninth.

“I’m not sitting here saying it’s Guenther’s fault, or anything like that, but it just seems like this was an appropriate time to make a change and try a different direction, because it doesn’t seem like continuing with what we had is really going to work,” he explained.

Haas: I like Guenther, he’s a really nice person

While Steiner became a star in F1 with his outspoken character and excessive use of foul language, Haas claims the Italian did not assert a proper management style, but rather depended on his “people skills”.

Haas said: “I like Guenther, he’s a really nice person, a really good personality. We had a tough end to the year. I don’t understand that, I really don’t.

“Those are good questions to ask Guenther, what went wrong. At the end of the day, it’s about performance. I have no interest in being 10th anymore,” he added.

The Haas owner insisted that Komatsu, Steiner’s replacement, has the qualifications that will allow him to run the team in a way that is more scientific, an engineering approach.

“We looked from within, at who had most experience,” he said. “Ayao has been with the team since day one, he knows the ins and outs of it. My biggest concern is when we go to Bahrain, we need to show up with a car that is ready to go. Maybe having more of a managerial-type and engineering approach, we’ll see if that has benefits.

“I think Guenther had more of a human-type approach to everything with people and the way he interacted with people, he was very good at that,” Haas pointed out. “Ayao is very technical, he looks at things based on statistics – this is what we’re doing bad, where can we do better.

“It’s a different approach. We really do need something different because we weren’t really doing that well. Like I said, it all comes down to eight years in, dead last. Nothing more I can say on that, he concluded.

Haas finished the 2023 F1 season, dead last in the Constructors’ Championship.