5 Formula 1

Bang: Günther Steiner leaves Haas. © APA/afp / BEN STANSALL

Bang: Günther Steiner has to make room at Haas

The new Formula 1 season will take place without South Tyrol's greatest ambassador: Günther Steiner is no longer team boss of the US racing team Haas.

As the team announced on Wednesday, the South Tyrolean has to vacate his post. The successor has already been chosen: the Japanese Ayao Komatsu. “I would like to thank Günther Steiner for his hard work over the last ten years and wish him all the best for the future,” says Gene Haas, team owner of the racing team. “It was clear that we as an organization needed to improve our performance on the track. With the appointment of Ayao Komatsu as team boss, we have put technology at the center of our management.”

Komatsu was previously the lead race engineer at Haas, now he is moving into the role of team boss. “I’m obviously very happy about the opportunity,” says the Japanese. “I can’t wait to lead our program and various competitive activities internally to ensure we can build a structure that produces better performance on the track.”

Ayao Komatsu is the new boss. © Haas

Steiner accompanied Haas' journey into Formula 1 from the start. Gene Haas hired Steiner to lead the effort to gain a foothold in the premier class. He recruited core staff and drove partnerships with suppliers. Since joining in 2016, the team has been through ups and downs: the Americans finished fifth in the constructors' championship in the 2018 season. Last season, Haas only took last place. With the change of team boss, the racing team is now hoping for an upswing.

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