Guenther Steiner was axed as Haas’ Team Principal gearing up for the start of the 2024 season.
This decision comes after a disappointing performance last year, which saw the team finishing at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship for the second time in the past three years.
Steiner played a pivotal role in establishing Haas, presenting the concept to US manufacturer Gene Haas, and leading to the team’s first Formula 1 season in 2016. He has been succeeded by the team’s engineering head, Ayao Komatsu.
Following Steiner’s exit, Haas unveiled its new vehicle, the VF-24, for the upcoming season. Hulkenberg expressed his surprise at Steiner’s departure from the team.
Hulkenberg speaking to Sky Sports Germany stated: “I got a phone call from Gene between Christmas and New Year. He informed me of his decision, which was surprising, I didn’t expect it and didn’t see it coming at all.
“I have spoken to Guenther since several times, and talking to him is always fun. I have a good relationship with him, both professionally and personally – he was the one largely responsible for my comeback [to F1].
“He opened the door for me, and partly for that reason, I regret he is gone, but it is Gene Haas’s decision, and we will just move on.
“[Guenther] made such a great contribution to the team commercially, and it is no secret that the Netflix series became such a huge success, partly to him.
“We are going to miss him, he built all of this, as Haas was his concept, his business plan and his departure will leave holes we will have to fill – but we have to start rebuilding. That is where our focus is now.”