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Steiner Haas Ferrari

Reaction: Haas F1 Team and Steiner part ways

Steiner Haas Ferrari

Part ways? Fired? Axed? Did his contract expire? Whatever the case, Guenther Steiner is no longer the team principal of the American Formula 1 outfit owned by Gene Haas in one of those moves no one saw coming.

Not even the F1 media ‘lifers’ embedded in the paddock hospitality units got a sniff of this blockbuster news, neither did we of course and probably no one other than the Haas F1 Team inner circle foresaw ‘under the radar’ Ayao Komatsu starting the 2024 F1 season as team boss.

The F1 world reacted in astonishment, as the news came through via an email press release and then spread like wildfire as Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ F1 unlikely star when the series embedded with Haas got the vulgar-mouther Steiner making excuses or cursing his team’s bad luck. Often over the phone to Haas.

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That he became such a hit is baffling for this author as he appeared to busk his way into F1 teams. Haas one of them, reportedly saving them from oblivion but mismanaging the racing side of the team quite horribly. Ask Mick Schumacher and others who were bulldozered by their former boss.

From my perspective, the Haas F1 Team is better off now that is gone. They became less of a brand than Steiner. It’s a problem when an F1 team principal is more recognizable than his team or drivers.

The biggest surprise is that Steiner lasted this long

gunether steiner haas preview f1

After all this is the guy who admitted he neglected to make the most of being the only American team on the F1 grid (long before the Netflix-inspired boom) and rather sought sponsorship from Russia. That triggered the whole Uralkali/Mazepin sorry saga.

In the Haas F1 Team statement, quoting the boss Gene, simply referred to Steiner with one sentence that spoke volumes: “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.”

Not a word from the departed boss. And no more mention on the team’s official website, which is pretty fast! Despite a fake Twitter account (@HaasF1TeamBoss) many sites are quoting, Steiner has not commented on this latest development.

Word is he disagreed with the direction the team had decided to take, whatever that may be will probably come to light in coming days because we’ve not heard the end of this one. Watch this space!

Good riddance is my call and my personal opinion on an F1 TP I simply never rated or understood how he got so high up for so long, a decade! That to me is a bigger surprise, than Steiner’s ousting.

Below are a selection of comments from high-profile figures in the F1 world regarding Steiner’s departure:

Hill: Maybe he didn’t get results that Gene Haas wanted

horner carnage schumacher haas f1 jeddah saudi qualifying crash accident shunt

Prior to Steiner’s departure, Moneygram CEO Alex Holmes inadvertently identified the problem: “We saw this impact from Günther when we first met and we went out to dinner. People would come to the table in the middle of the meal and want to take a photo with him.

“When you see the star appeal he has and how it comes across, he is exactly who he is. I think that sincerity really shines through. And for us it’s very special that we can combine our brand with his,” gushed Holmes.

In the wake of the news being made public Haas F1 drivers reacted on social media, Nico Hulkenberg wrote: “Thanks, Guenther. For your trust, friendship and the opportunity to go racing in F1 again! You’re definitely a character.. all the best!”

Kevin Magnussen wrote on Twitter: “Thanks, Günther. Thanks for taking me on the journey in 2017 and thanks for bringing me on board again in 2022. It has been both fun and tremendously challenging – but never boring. So long and all the best.”

F1 World Champion turned pundit, Damon Hill told Sky F1: “Guenther became a bit of a celebrity thanks to the famous Netflix series and the behind-the-scenes filming of him. He’s a huge character. Very decisive, confident, and sure of what he’s saying. Maybe this is part of the mix.

“He wants to win, I don’t know what the real reason is for the departure, but it’s a real loss to the sport. Fans liked him, he attracted people, he was controversial, he was outspoken but maybe didn’t get the results that Gene Haas wanted,” presumed Hill.