(Charlotte) Guenther Steiner, the first employee to be hired by the Haas Formula 1 team and one of the big stars of the Netflix series about the premier motorsport series, is no longer the director of the American team after spending a decade with it.
Gene Haas confirmed the news on Wednesday and indicated that engineering director Ayao Komatsu, who joined the team as race engineer in 2016, will replace Steiner as director.
Haas said Komatsu will be responsible for the team’s overall strategy and on-track performance. He also plans to hire a director of European operations to manage day-to-day operations at the team’s factory located in Banbury, England.
Haas made a point of thanking Steiner in a statement “for his hard work over a decade”, but was stingy with comments about the man who built the Haas F1 team.
“It was becoming more and more apparent as an organization that we needed to improve our performance on the track. By appointing Ayao Komatsu as director, we are placing engineering challenges at the heart of our operations,” explained Haas.
Haas has never won a race in F1 or reached the podium until now.
Haas, the only American team in F1, will once again field two cars next season: that of Dane Kevin Magnussen, and that of German Nico Hülkenberg.