Guenther Steiner’s departure from Haas F1 Team marks the end of an era for the only new team in the last two decades to have become a permanent and stable fixture in Formula 1.
Haas under Guenther Steiner: A legacy of resilience
Steiner, who has been with the team since it entered the sport in 2016, leaves a legacy of resilience and tenacity.
Under Steiner’s guidance, Haas experienced genuine highs, including scoring points on their debut in Australia in 2016.
This was followed by a maiden pole position in Brazil last year and a remarkable fifth-placed finish in the constructors’ championship in 2018.
Steiner’s journey with Haas was marked by overcoming numerous challenges, including navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, managing partnerships with sponsors like Rich Energy, and making tough decisions like severing ties with Russian sponsor Uralkali and driver Nikita Mazepin.
Despite these obstacles, Steiner’s leadership kept the team cohesive and competitive.
The Italian has been a popular figure in Formula 1, not just for his role as Team Principal, but also for his candid and charismatic personality showcased in the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive.
His departure is attributed to divergent views on the team’s future direction and necessary investment with owner Gene Haas, leading to a mutual decision to part ways.
Steiner’s time at Haas is characterised by his ability to make the most out of limited resources. His approach to utilising the rules to full effect, often taking parts from Ferrari, drew attention and sometimes frustration from rival teams.
Steiner’s life before his tenure at Haas
Before joining Haas, Steiner had a rich history in motorsport.
He served as the managing director of Jaguar between 2001 and 2003 and was the technical operations director at Red Bull in the early years from 2005.
His extensive experience in Formula 1 and rallying will undoubtedly see him continue to play a significant role in the world of motorsport, whether in management, media, or with his own company.
With Ayao Komatsu, Haas’ former Director of Engineering, stepping up as the new Team Principal, the team faces a new chapter. Komatsu’s engineering background and intimate knowledge of the team’s workings since its inception position him well to steer Haas through the upcoming challenges in Formula 1.