F1 News: Despite Bold Statements After Guenther Steiner’s Exit, Ayao Komatsu Gives Depressing Update on Haas’ 2024 Chances

Published 01/27/2024, 7:00 AM EST

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via Reuters

The F1 community was shocked when Guenther Steiner didn’t get a contract extension as the team principal of the Haas F1 team. However, for those in the know, this move from Gene Haas was brewing for a while. Considering the team’s performance in the last few seasons and the growing tension between Steiner and Gene Haas, it was a matter of when not if Steiner got sacked. Ayao Komatsu will take over Steiner’s position as the team principal for 2024 and beyond. However, as it turns out, Komatsu is not confident about any significant improvement for the team in 2024.

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The main point of contention between Steiner and Gene Haas was about the team’s future. Where Steiner believed that the team needed consistent investment and extra resources for growth, Gene Haas believed that the team had enough resources to be better than 10th fastest, especially considering the technical partnership with Ferrari. And that’s where Ayao Komatsu, the team’s engineering director, came into the picture for restructuring and optimizing the team’s operations.

Komatsu uncertain of improvement in 2024 despite making bold stain against Guenther Steiner

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Haas has consistently been among the bottom 3 teams in the last 5 seasons. Ayao Komatsu joined Gene Haas to express disappointment in the team’s performance. He echoed Haas’ sentiments for the need to change. While he acknowledged some similarities with the leadership style of Guenther Steiner, he made it clear that he was not meant to be Steiner’s replacement.

However, Komatsu has made it clear that Haas will probably be the slowest car on the grid once again in 2024. He is realistic about the immediate impact of the leadership change. Komatsu expects a year of adjustment and acknowledges that the new car might not be sufficient to compete with rivals due to a late-season design concept change. He believes their season will be a gradual progression, emphasizing the importance of robust car development.

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“2024 will be a transition period for us. But we have to keep improving results as we change the team. We don’t intend to be eighth in the future, but we are in a rebuilding year. Less than a month remains for pre-season testing, and I believe that when we go to Bahrain, we will still be at the bottom of the grid, said Komatsu as quoted by soymotor.com.

Sour Effects of Guenther Steiner’s Exit Get Felt as Warning Bells Ring for Haas and Ayao Komatsu

With no immediate obligation to work, Guenther Steiner has plenty of time on his hands to look after other stuff in his life. But what is he up to these days?

Steiner will release a new book after the success of ‘Surviving to Drive’

Guenther Steiner’s first book, Surviving to Drive, telling an inside story of the 2022 season for Haas became an instant success after it was released early last year. It sold around 150,000 copies. And right now, Steiner is planning to release his second book.

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“We are working on the second book at the moment. That was planned already before. Now, obviously, the story maybe changes a little bit!” said Steiner as per Motorsport. Speaking about James Hogg, the ghostwriter for his initial book Steiner said, “I actually enjoyed working with the writer, he is a cool dude, we had good fun. And he had good fun as well. He said hanging out with me was always good fun because it was never the pressure of, ‘We need to do this’. It all came very organically.”

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Do you think Haas will realistically be able to improve its position as a constructor without continued investments and influx of resources? Share your insights in the comments down below.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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