'I didn't see it coming,' admits Steiner after Haas F1 axe

58-year-old had been team principal for 10 years

AFP January 14, 2024


Guenther Steiner admitted Saturday that his sacking as Haas F1 team principal came as a shock, claiming "I didn't see it coming".

The colourful 58-year-old was axed by owner Gene Haas following a 2023 season which saw the team finish 10th and last in the world championship.

"Obviously nobody was happy with the results in 2023 but I didn't see this coming," Steiner told Sky Sports News.

"I knew that the renewal of my contract was coming up and then when a renewal is coming up it can be that it's not getting renewed."

Steiner had been in charge of the team since it entered F1 in 2016 and had attracted much attention for his lively outbursts on the successful Netflix show "Drive to Survive".

The Haas team has never succeeded in making the podium, Romain Grosjean's fourth place in Austria in 2018 proving to be their best finish.

Last season Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen collected just 12 points between them.

Steiner said that he had no regrets over his unlikely starring role in the "Drive to Survive" series.

"I didn't get up in the morning to be a celebrity," he said.

"I get up in the morning to work. But I think it worked a lot in favour of the team because without that maybe it would have been closed before."

Ayao Komatsu, who has been director of engineering, will succeed Steiner.

The 2024 F1 season starts with pre-season testing in Bahrain in late February followed by the opening grand prix at the same track on March 2.


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