Haas F1 Team has confirmed that Guenther Steiner has stepped down as team principal ahead of this year’s season.
Steiner has been at the helm of the Haas team since arriving on the grid as F1’s youngest team in 2016. Under his leadership, they reached a high of fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, achieved in 2018. However, Haas has been limited at the bottom of the standings over the last few seasons and finished last year at the bottom of the Constructors’ standings.
“I’d like to start by thanking Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade and I wish him well in the future,” said team owner Gene Haas. “Moving forward as an organization it is clear that we need to improve our performance on the track.”
Haas F1’s press release left no doubt as to exactly why Ayao Komatsu was nominated as the team’s new boss, as he will bring extensive engineering knowledge to the role. Komatsu was born on January 28, 1976 in Japan, but moved to Europe in 1995 to study in the UK. He has been active in F1 since 2003, working in various roles across the grid en route to taking over as team principal.
With a degree in automotive engineering as well as a PhD in vehicle dynamics and control, Komatsu joined British American Racing (BAR) as a tire engineer in 2003. He remained with the team for three years before moving to Lotus (Renault). There, he progressed from performance engineer to chief race engineer within 10 years.