Magnussen Upbeat on Haas Team Spirit Despite Steiner's Shock Exit

Magnussen Upbeat on Haas Team Spirit Despite Steiner’s Shock Exit

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen insists team morale remains strong following Guenther Steiner’s surprise departure, believing new boss Ayao Komatsu’s engineering background brings positive energy.

Steiner’s exit after leading Haas since their 2016 F1 debut surprised many. But Magnussen praises Komatsu’s impact, with the technical chief replacing Steiner in January.

“The spirit is very good. I think people like to see a change in the team,” Magnussen said at F1 testing in Bahrain. While Steiner felt like family, the Dane feels Komatsu’s engineering expertise better equips Haas for progress.

“Having an engineer at the helm in a sport that is so technical, you need to develop effectively. I think that’s going to create a change,” he explained.


Magnussen Upbeat on Haas Team Spirit Despite Steiner's Shock Exit


Magnussen senses greater engagement under Komatsu’s leadership so far. Direct access to the new principal’s engineering insights motivates staff seeking to advance Haas’s competitiveness.

Despite no issues with Steiner, Magnussen believes Komatsu’s hands-on understanding of race engineering dynamics brings “a different energy” to Haas. More interaction and unity already emerge, he notes optimistically.

On track, Magnussen relishes getting back in the new VF-24, as Haas target improvements from 2022’s tire struggles. But he cautions Haas’s outright pace may remain similar initially.

The team seem upbeat about progress, yet Magnussen doubts drastic gains over rivals just yet. Long-term development under Komatsu is required to fully revive Haas’s fortunes.

With a fresh outlook despite upheaval, Haas hopes renewed motivation bears fruit when the 2024 F1 season starts in Bahrain from February 29-March 2.