Haas F1's new team principal, Ayao Komatsu will be just the team's second since they entered the sport in 2016.
In a surprising turn of events, Haas F1 Team have made a significant change in their leadership structure with the departure of long-time team principal Guenther Steiner and the appointment of Ayao Komatsu as his successor.
Komatsu, who joined the team in 2016 when they made their F1 debut, will assume the reins of the American outfit starting with the 2024 season.
This move reflects the team's commitment to engineering excellence and their belief in his ability to lead the Haas F1 Team into a new era.
So, who exactly is Ayao Komatsu? Here's everything we know so far about the new Haas boss.
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A Journey from engineering to team management
Born in Japan on January 28, 1976, Komatsu moved to the United Kingdom in 1994, just after finishing high school, in the hopes of pursuing a career in F1.
After graduating from Loughborough University with a bachelor's degree in Automotive Engineering, he earned a PhD in Vehicle dynamics and Control.
Komatsu's journey in F1 started in 2003, when he joined the BAR team (now Mercedes) as a tyre engineer, where he stayed for three years.
The Tokyo native then moved to Lotus (Renault) in 2006 and continued his journey there for 10 years, starting as a performance engineer, then moving up to Race Engineer, and finally becoming the chief race engineer.
During his tenure with the Enstone outfit, Komatsu built up a special bond with his driver, Romain Grosjean, who made his F1 return to Lotus in 2012 after three years away from the sport.
When did Komatsu join Haas?
So it wasn't really surprising that when the Frenchman decided to move to the newly formed Haas F1 Team in 2016, Komatsu followed suit and joined the team too.
But even after Grosjean's departure from F1 in 2020, Komatsu stayed with Haas and continued to serve as the chief race engineer, managing all trackside engineering activities on-site.
Now, with seven years of experience under his belt with the American outfit, Komatsu has been appointed as the team principal from 2024 onwards, taking responsibility for the team's overall strategy and on-track performance.
His extensive two-decade-long engineering background and deep understanding of the team's operations gained during his tenure alongside former boss Steiner make him the perfect man for the job.
And with the F1 2024 season just around the corner, all eyes will be on Ayao Komatsu and Haas as they embark on this new chapter.
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