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Audi F1 entry decision complicated by Steiner sacking

Audi F1 entry decision complicated by Steiner sacking

F1 News

Audi F1 entry decision complicated by Steiner sacking

Audi F1 entry decision complicated by Steiner sacking

The 2024 Formula 1 season hasn't yet started, but one of the most impactful decisions of the year has already been made - Guenther Steiner's ousting from Haas.

The news took fans completely off guard, with the American team never having gone into a season without the popular team principal at the helm.

Steiner had been a much-loved figure by fans, owing in large part to Netflix docu-series Drive to Survive, on which he appeared regularly to rant and swear.

However, he has since been replaced by Ayao Komatsu, a man who previously held the position of chief race engineer in the Haas hierarchy.

Gene Haas recently removed Guenther Steiner from his position as team principal with the Haas F1 team
Guenther Steiner has been replaced by Ayao Komatsu
Mattia Binotto has been linked with a move to the new Audi team

But what impact might this change, less than two months before the start of the 2024 season, have on the wider F1 world?

Audi's big team principal decision

It has been confirmed that Audi will join the F1 grid in 2026, when new regulations will come sweeping into the sport.

They will take the place of the current Sauber-owned team (whose name seems to change so regularly it's hard to keep track), and have already started working on their engine for that first season.

One obvious question that surrounds the team's inception is who will drive for Audi? And, who will fill the key positions such as team principal?

READ MORE: F1 Schedule 2024: Full calendar with all you need to know about every grand prix

While Valtteri Bottas has been pretty bullish about his chances of taking one of the seats with the ambitious new outfit, who his boss would be remains a mystery.

There are many unknowns when it comes to personnel at the new Audi team in 2026

There has been rumours that former Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is high on the list for the German team, but he appeared to knock them back last year when it was reported that he had called some of the Audi hierarchy 'clowns'.

Steiner or Binotto for Audi top job?

It remains to be seen whether the team will continue their pursuit of Binotto, or look elsewhere for the person to take them into their first season in F1.

Steiner's new availability may interest CEO Andreas Seidl, with the Italian a dab-hand when it comes to helping teams take their first steps in the sport.

He also has proved that he can make tough decisions, and appease big-name businessmen, with he and Gene Haas sharing an honest and strong working relationship during the Italian's tenure.

On the other hand, Binotto has race-winning experience, and with Audi's ambition being to become a big player in F1, his time at Ferrari could prove to be a useful asset.

Or, Audi could decide to take a completely different option, with former Toyota F1 star Cristiano da Matta also being linked with the job.

READ MORE: F1 2024 car launches: Dates, times and how to watch live

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