New Haas Team Principal Will Not 'Try To Be Like Guenther Stainer'

by Adam OndrikThursday, 18 January 2024 at 11:00
komatsu ayao haas latphoto1
The replacement for the former team principal of Haas, Ayao Komatsu, clarified he would not try to be like Guenther Steiner.
Steiner led the American for eight years but couldn't achieve the desired results his team owner would have wanted, and therefore, Gene Haas decided to replace him with Ayao Komatsu.
The Haas F1 owner explained he wanted somebody from within the team who already understands all the people and processes rather than taking on a different team principal who would only reshuffle things.
Therefore, he chose the Japanese engineer who has also been with the team from day one. Komatsu told a group of media at the UK base in Banbury yesterday:

"Of course, I’m not trying to be Guenther Steiner! He’s a very different person. We got on, honestly, really, really well. We respect each other, we respect each other’s positions and job roles during work and off work as well."

Komatsu and Steiner apparently had a great relationship and even used to go to dinner together throughout race weekends as they got on with each other well. So there is no hard feelings between the two.
Komatsu understands Steiner wouldn't be replaced if Gene Haas wanted the team principal to work the same way. Therefore, he will lead his own way.

"I’m not trying to be someone else and Gene knows that and if Gene wanted a Guenther Steiner replacement in that way, he would have appointed somebody else."

Throughout his previous years with the team, the Japanese team principal worked in positions of vehicle dynamics, performance engineer, race engineer as well as chief race engineer.
Consequently, he will bring value to the team more from the technical side and will led somebody else take care of marketing. He added:

"I understand that Gene wants something different, and I will try to be the best version of myself rather than trying to be somebody else."