Last-Place Haas Makes Big Changes for F1’s 2024 Season and Beyond

The name above the door of the Haas Formula 1 team remains unaltered. But, heading into the 2024 Formula 1 season, there’s been a major leadership change.

Guenther Steiner, the founding team principal of the only American Formula 1 squad, is gone. In his place, Haas has promoted Ayao Komatsu, who had been the team’s engineering director. Like Steiner, Komatsu had worked with Haas since it entered Formula 1 in 2016. But it was his boss who possessed a high profile among Formula 1 fans because of Steiner’s popularity in the Netflix series “Drive to Survive.”

Steiner’s contract had been set to expire at the end of the year, but his position did not outwardly appear threatened.

Then Gene Haas, the team owner, informed Steiner after Christmas that he would not be offered a new contract, after which Haas moved Komatsu to the top job.

Haas said in an interview published in January on Formula 1’s website that his decision “came down to performance,” after the team finished last in the constructors’ championship and eighth the previous year. In its eight seasons in Formula 1, the team has never won a race, and its best race result was finishing fourth in Austria in 2018.

But there was also a disagreement between Steiner and Haas over what investment was required to improve results.

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