Ayao Komatsu replaces Guenther Steiner as Haas F1 Team Principal

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team has appointed Ayao Komatsu as its new Team Principal, with Guenther Steiner departing the organization with immediate effect, having led its operations for the past decade. Komatsu, promoted from his role as Director of Engineering, has been with the team since its debut season in 2016 – starting as Chief Race Engineer. 

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With over 20 years of Formula 1 experience in engineering and management, the 47-year-old Japanese engineering graduate commenced his career in motorsport at British American Racing before a long tenure at Renault. Komatsu will now oversee all competition elements of the business as Team Principal. 

Komatsu will take responsibility for the team’s overall strategy and ultimately on-track performance, with a brief to maximize the team’s potential through employee empowerment, structural process, and efficiency. 

To further strengthen team operations off-track and in support of Komatsu’s performance-led focus as Team Principal, a European-based Chief Operating Officer will be appointed to manage all non-competition matters and departments; the role is expected to be based at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team’s Banbury facility. 

Gene Haas, Team Owner at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, commented:

“I’d like to start by extending my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade, and I wish him well for the future. Moving forward as an organization, we clearly need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao Komatsu as Team Principal, we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.

We have had some successes, but we must consistently deliver results that help us reach our broader goals as an organization. We need to be efficient with our resources, but improving our design and engineering capability is vital to our success as a team. I’m looking forward to working with Ayao and maximizing our potential – this reflects my desire to compete properly in Formula 1. 

Ayao Komatsu, newly-appointed Team Principal of the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, stated:

I’m naturally very excited to have the opportunity to be Team Principal at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. Having been with the team since its track debut back in 2016, I’m obviously passionately invested in its success in Formula 1. I’m looking forward to leading our program and the various competitive operations internally to ensure we can build a structure that produces improved on-track performances.

We are a performance-based business. We obviously haven’t been competitive enough recently, which has been frustrating for us all. We have fantastic support from Gene and our various partners, and we want to mirror their enthusiasm with an improved on-track product. We have a great team of people across Kannapolis, Banbury and Maranello, and together, I know we can achieve the kind of results we’re capable of.

The 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship commences with pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit from February 21-23, with the season-opener – the Bahrain Grand Prix- at the same venue from February 29 – March 2. 

About MoneyGram Haas F1 Team:

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team debuted in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American Formula 1 team since 1986. Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team is based in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina, campus as his championship-winning NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Haas founded Haas Automation, North America’s largest CNC machine tool builder and chairman of MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. 

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