The Haas Formula One team made headlines with the unexpected departure of long-time team principal, Guenther Steiner, after a successful 10-year tenure. The organization announced this surprising development on Wednesday, marking a significant change in leadership for the team. Steiner, who gained recognition through his appearances on Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’, had been at the helm since Haas joined the grid in 2016, achieving notable success with a fifth-place finish in the Constructor Standings in 2018. However, the team faced challenges in the 2023 season, finishing last with just 12 points.
The Haas Formula One team undergoes a significant leadership change as long-time team principal Guenther Steiner steps down from his role. Ayao Komatsu, the team’s director of engineering, assumes the position of team principal, signaling a strategic focus on enhancing engineering capabilities and on-track performance.
Ayao Komatsu Takes the Reins
Following discussions with team owner Gene Haas, it was mutually agreed that Guenther Steiner would step down from his role. In his place, Haas’ director of engineering, Ayao Komatsu, has been appointed as the new team principal. This move reflects the team’s commitment to enhancing its on-track performance and engineering capabilities, with a focus on achieving sustained success in the highly competitive world of Formula One.
“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,” Haas said in a statement. “Moving forward as an organization, it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao Komatsu as Team Principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.”
As Haas embarks on this new chapter, the team aims to build on past successes while striving for greater consistency in delivering strong results. The appointment of Ayao Komatsu underscores the team’s commitment to leveraging engineering expertise to drive its performance on the track. The transition in leadership signals a strategic shift as Haas seeks to optimize its resources and elevate its design and engineering capabilities to achieve sustained success as a team.