F1

Guenther Steiner sacked as Haas principal as team look to ‘maximise potential’

The 58-year-old Italian earned a cult following his X-rated outbursts on ‘Drive to Survive’.

Guenther Steiner has lost his job as Haas team principal
Guenther Steiner Guenther Steiner has lost his job as Haas team principal (Tim Goode/PA)

Guenther Steiner, the star of Formula One’s ‘Drive to Survive’ series, has been sacked by Haas.

The 58-year-old Italian earned a cult following his X-rated outbursts on the successful Netflix show.

But Steiner’s reign as team principal for the American team is over after owner Gene Haas dispensed of his services with immediate effect.

Haas finished 10th and last in the 2023 constructors’ standings
Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg Haas finished 10th and last in the 2023 constructors’ standings (Tim Goode/PA)

Steiner had been team principal at Haas since the team entered F1 in 2016. But they finished 10th and last in the most recent constructors’ championship, scoring points at only four of the 22 races.

He will be replaced by Ayao Komatsu, the Japanese Loughborough University graduate who is promoted from his role as trackside engineering director.

“Moving forward as an organisation it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances,” said Gene Haas.

“In appointing Ayao Komatsu as team principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.

“We have had some successes, but we need to be consistent in delivering results that help us reach our wider goals as an organisation.

Guenther Steiner has lost his job as team principal at Haas
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner Guenther Steiner has lost his job as team principal at Haas (Tim Goode/PA)

“I’m looking forward to working with Ayao and fundamentally ensuring that we maximise our potential – this truly reflects my desire to compete properly in Formula One.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade and I wish him well for the future.”

Off the back of his newfound Netflix fame Steiner released his own book last year, while it was also reported that he is set to be involved as a producer on a sports-based fictional comedy show with US broadcaster CBS.

Speaking on Sky Sports last month, Steiner insisted his extracurricular activities were not hindering his role as team principal.

“It is a balance, and you have to be careful it doesn’t take too much time,” he said. “But writing the book didn’t take time.

“I always tried to do it while I was doing other things. I try to be very efficient and if there is a comedy with CBS I will not be performing in it.

“Everybody in the team is in a good place, financially as a business, and technically, too. We had a tough last year, but we could end up at the top of the midfield in 2024.”

The new season starts in Bahrain on March 2.