Guenther Steiner Sends Gene Haas a Brutal Stroke of “Reality” After Infamous Sacking

Published 02/08/2024, 12:25 PM EST

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After serving Haas for eight long years since its inception in the sport, team principal Guenther Steiner was recently relieved of his duties. However, he was more than just the team principal at Haas. It was Steiner’s idea to bring F1’s first American team to life, which he then pitched to Gene Haas and got him on board. However, following a recent escalation between them, Gene refused to renew Steiner’s contract, which ended on December 31, 2023. Steiner, who didn’t even get to bid farewell to his team, recently opened up about the reality of losing his job.

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Haas had been underperforming for a few years, consistently finishing in the bottom three in the Constructors’ Championship for the past five seasons. Gene Haas believed the team had enough resources to do better than that, which is why he felt promoting someone like Ayao Komatsu, with a technical background, would be the way to go. However, Steiner feels there are more significant problems to address.

Guenther Steiner reveals the truth about F1’s cost cap era

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While Gene Haas believed Haas had the resources to be a mid-field team, especially on the back of their technical partnership with Ferrari, Guenther Steiner believed the team needed a constant influx to keep up with the ever-evolving midfield competitors. In a recent conversation with Auto Motorsport, Steiner expressed the need for Haas to develop their facilities to be able to compete with teams like Williams and AlphaTauri (now Visa Cash App RB).

I wanted to invest in the team; he didn’t. We simply had different views on how things should proceed,” revealed Steiner, as reported by crash.net. There was a time when being a big F1 team with tons of money to spend on car development was an advantage. But as teams like Mercedes and Ferrari benefitted from that, the lower-budget teams struggled to find solutions. Recognizing this as a major problem, F1 introduced the cost cap. It was a brilliant solution to close the gap between all the teams. But it is one that Haas hasn’t used to the best of its advantage, per Steiner.

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“The way the team was set up, you couldn’t ask for much more,” continued the former team principal. “This is not a criticism of the team but the reality. The budget cap has completely changed Formula 1. Old structures no longer work. McLaren, Williams, [and] AlphaTauri have been investing for two years in the infrastructure so that they have more budget for the operational business. If you don’t follow suit, you can’t expect to be able to keep up.”

From what Guenther Steiner revealed, Haas has a lot of work to do to achieve the kind of success it dreams of. While Steiner was at the helm of the team for eight years, it’s now the former trackside engineering director Komatsu leading the team. And from what he had to say about Haas’ chances in 2024, it doesn’t look good for the American team.

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Can Haas rise in the ranks of F1 without Steiner?

Success in Formula 1 is never guaranteed, regardless of how much money and effort a team spends on their cars. Slow yet steady development over time does tend to add up over the years. Look at McLaren, for example. They had a horrible start in the hybrid era when they resumed their partnership with Honda in 2014. However, over time, they have been investing to develop their infrastructure and facilities, which has helped the team a lot.

The change in leadership doesn’t promise immediate success for Haas, as the challenges they will face in 2024 were bluntly acknowledged by the new team principal, Ayao Komatsu. In a recent interview, he revealed, “Out of the gates in Bahrain, I still think we’re going to be towards the back of the grid, if not last.” While this doesn’t point to good signs, Haas can hope to improve in the future with better use of the resources it already has at its disposal.

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Do you think Haas will make a step up with the arrival of new engine and chassis regulations in 2026? Share your insights in the comments!

“10 Years Was Too Long”: Guenther Steiner Reflects on Lacklustre Haas Stint as He Shares Life Update

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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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