Steiner has become an overnight sensation and an F1 fan favorite in the aftermath of his Drive to Survive appearances with colorful language and distinctive character, with some even arguing that he has become bigger than the team itself.
The new team boss, Komatsu, is totally different, and while he has always been visible on the Haas pitwall and in the garage, the Japanese engineer has always gone about his business in low profile.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Komatsu insists he will not take anything from the Steiner F1 Team Management handbook, he said: “I am never going to try and replicate Guenther Steiner.
“Guenther is a very unique human being and I had a very, very good working relationship, and outside of work we got on really well together.
“Guenther has done a lot for this team. He set the team up to start off with, so I have a huge respect for Guenther and what he has achieved. So I try to improve on what he has left here,” Komatsu vowed.
Haas owner, Gene Haas said he was embarrassed how bad his team have been performing given how close they work with Ferrari and how much components they get from the Italian team.
Haas was right to be embarrassed
“I was on the pit wall every single race, an hour and a half or two hours of that race,” Komatsu said, explaining Haas’ statement.
“It is embarrassing to qualify [in a] half decent position and then you know that on Sunday afternoon you are going backwards because of the limitation we have.
“So it is embarrassing. Gene’s completely right, and that’s not why we are here. So I’m here to improve on that,” he added.
In the press release that announced Steiner’s departure and Komatsu’s promotion, Haas stressed the importance of the new Team Principal’s engineering background hoping the management style would change accordingly.
Komatsu commented: “I see certainly things slightly in a different way and [with a] slightly different approach which I’m sure even with certain constraints we have got in this team I believe we can do a better job.
“We can improve quite a lot in various areas and if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t have accepted the job,” he insisted.
Komatsu was asked whether Haas has set any targets for him in 2024, he responded: “In terms of the championship, yes.
“I think I’d like to communicate that internally first before I communicate it externally. It’s a competition so nobody enjoys being last. Of course we can only improve from that,” Komatsu concluded.
Big Question: Will Komatsu do a better job than Steiner leading Haas?