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New Haas boss attacks 'embarrassing' Steiner era

New Haas boss attacks 'embarrassing' Steiner era

F1 News

New Haas boss attacks 'embarrassing' Steiner era

New Haas boss attacks 'embarrassing' Steiner era

Incoming Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has called the team's 2023 race pace 'embarrassing', despite a string of strong qualifying performances.

Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg combined for just 12 points last season, leaving the team rock bottom of the constructors' standings.

This rather unexpectedly led to the departure of Guenther Steiner, a man who had guided the team through their first eight seasons in Formula 1.

While American businessman Haas suggested that Steiner's sacking was a result of the team not claiming a podium in those eight seasons and scrambling around at the back of the grid since 2018, Haas did endure some specific problems in 2023.

The two drivers' average qualifying positions in the season were 12th and 19th respectively, yet Hulkenberg only managed two top-10 finishes while Magnussen claimed three 10th-place finishes.

Gene Haas removed Guenther Steiner from his position following a poor 2023
Ayao Komatsu is the man who has taken over from Guenther Steiner at Haas
Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen's contracts with Haas both expire at the end of 2024

Haas' poor 2023 season

Now, Komatsu has drawn on these poor race performances to outline how he will offer a fresh look for the team in 2024. The Japanese team boss worked alongside Steiner as the chief race engineer with the American outfit.

"I am never going to try and replicate Guenther Steiner," Komatsu told Sky Sports.

"Guenther is a very unique human being and I had a very, very good working relationship, and outside of work we got on really well together.

"Guenther has done a lot for this team. He set the team up to start off with, so I have a huge respect for Guenther and what he has achieved. So I try to improve on what he has left here.

"I was on the pit wall every single race, an hour and a half or two hours of that race," he continued.

"It is embarrassing to qualify [in a] half decent position and then you know that on Sunday afternoon you are going backwards because of the limitation we have.

"So it is embarrassing. Gene's completely right, and that's not why we are here. So I'm here to improve on that."

READ MORE: Who is Ayao Komatsu? All you need to know about new Haas F1 boss

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