Komatsu Made Clear To Gene Haas He Will Need Help In Position Of Team Principal

by Adam OndrikFriday, 19 January 2024 at 09:00
komatsu ayao haas latphoto
Ayao Komatsu, who is the new team principal of Haas, will not be doing the same job that Guenther Steiner did, and he said he made that clear to the team owner right away.
Becoming a team principal must be an exciting and incredible opportunity for Japanese F1 engineer Ayao Komatsu. However, his skill set was not entirely suited for this task.
The role of the team principal includes overseeing the entire team's operations. Team principals are usually involved in everything from strategic decision-making, managing the team's budget, and liaising with sponsors and partners to technical development and driver selection. Komatsu told the media:

"When I was given this opportunity, I just made it clear to Gene: 'You know my expertise, there's no point in me trying to focus on the marketing side and trying to get sponsorship because that's not where my skill set is.'"

Gene Haas was also fully aware Komatsu would not be doing the same job that Steiner was doing, but that was also partially the reason for making the change. Komatsu continued:

"In that field I need someone else who is an expert in that area to run it, then I can focus on the technical side, trying to get an organization that we can improve the technical side of the team."

Throughout his eight years with the team, the Japanese team principal has held multiple positions related to the team's technical and strategic aspects.

"So yeah, it’s a very different responsibility, but at the same time, any job I've done – so I used to be in the vehicle dynamics, performance engineer, race engineer, chief race engineer – when you do your current job you always try your best in the job you are doing but you also look at 'OK, what are the other constraints? If certain things are improved, how can I do a better job?'"

The newly appointed team principal will undoubtedly try to do a better job than Guenther Steiner could. Still, it won't be an easy task, as he got into the position less than two months before the start of the season with very little time to change anything.