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Steiner hints costly reason behind Haas exit

Steiner hints costly reason behind Haas exit

Steiner hints costly reason behind Haas exit

Steiner hints costly reason behind Haas exit

Guenther Steiner has spoken out for the first time since his controversial axing as team principal of Haas.

Steiner was a shock departure announced this week, just as the team start to prepare for the new Formula 1 season in two months.

Haas finished the 2023 season bottom of the constructors' championship and it appears patience of the team owner Gene Haas had been tested to the limit.

Guenther Steiner had spent 10 years as team principal of the Haas team
Ayao Komatsu will now be team principal of the Haas outfit for the 2024 F1 season

Why did Haas axe Guenther Steiner?

Steiner though defended his record running the team and admits he was surprised by his sudden departure, hinting that the negative results could have been from a lack of investment to compete with rival teams.

“It was a bit of a surprise,” Steiner said at Autosport International. “Gene felt that is the way he wants to take the team forward. It’s his decision, not my one. He owns the place and if you own something, you have got the right to do what you want.

“F1 has changed a lot in the last 10 years, especially after the Covid period – how much it grew, how much bigger it got and how different it got with the budget cap.

“If you look at all the other teams, they are all gearing up. They started to gear up two years ago, some last year, so everybody is getting stronger and investing a lot in the future.”

Haas struggled through 2023 and finished bottom of the constructors championship

Steiner admits pain at nature of Haas exit

Steiner had been team principal since the team's inception in 2014 two years before they made their F1 debut but found out about his exit between Christmas and the New Year after a phone call with Haas.

He has been replaced immediately within the team by Ayao Komatsu, and admits he has been left bitter by not being able to give a personal farewell to the staff at Haas directly.

“I didn’t have the chance to say thank you to a few people when I left Haas,” said Steiner added. “I would just like to thank all the team members, which I couldn’t give a proper goodbye to when I left.

“I want to say also thank you to all the fans which supported us while I was there, so it’s fantastic. I really appreciate it.

“It stung to not say bye. But they all know me and know that I still appreciate what they did. It’s always best to say it to them vocally but it would be nice to say ‘hey guys, thanks for all what you did for the team’.

“It was a team that was very small and ran on adrenaline a lot of times. They did a good job and I want to say thank you to them. It doesn’t make you happy not saying thank you.”

READ MORE: F1 Team Principals: Who are the men in charge in 2024?

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