Guenther Steiner – the foul-mouthed cult hero of Netflix series Drive to Survive – is SACKED as team principal of Haas… following a row with the team’s owner after he demanded more investment

Guenther Steiner has been fired as team boss of Haas after a row with the team owner
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  • Mail Sport understands Steiner rowed with team owner Gene Haas
  • Steiner demanded more investment, but Haas said he didn’t get much return
  • His departure marks the end of a ten-year reign at Haas
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Guenther Steiner, a breakout star from the Netflix series Drive to Survive, today lost his job as team boss of the Formula 1 team Haas.

The Italian-American engineer made his name as the American team’s foul-mouthed boss, winning a fan base largely unfamiliar with him as a long-serving backwoodsman manager at Jaguar and Red Bull.

His guttural Germanic-sounding expletives – he was born on the Austrian border – had groupies besieging him at race tracks and airports around the world for autographs and selfies.

But at the age of 58, after a season in which Haas finished last in the constructors’ championship, he makes way for Ayao Komatsu, the team’s 47-year-old Japanese technical director. A ten-year reign is coming to an end.

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Mail Sport understands Steiner rowed with owner Gene Haas and they more or less mutually decided his time was up. Steiner demanded more investment, although Haas might have pointed out that he was not getting much return on his limited £105m outlay.

Guenther Steiner has been fired as team boss of Haas after a row with the team owner

Steiner demanded more investment, although Gene Haas (right) pointed out that he was not getting much return on his limited expenditure of £105 million

Steiner demanded more investment, although Gene Haas (right) pointed out that he was not getting much return on his limited expenditure of £105 million

Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Kevin Magnussen collected just twelve points last season, as Haas finished bottom of the Constructors' Championship for the second time in three years

Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Kevin Magnussen collected just twelve points last season, as Haas finished bottom of the Constructors’ Championship for the second time in three years

They only collected 12 points through drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. If they spend the full £105 million quota, that works out to £87,500 per point. Red Bull, the champions, scored 860 at £1,221 per point.

“It was a case where I needed this investment and Gene said ‘no’,” said an F1 insider. ‘This was an example of ‘F*** you’. And “F*** you” in return.

In a statement, owner Haas said: ‘I would like to start by expressing my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past ten years and I wish him the best for the future.

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‘To move forward as an organisation, it was clear that we had to improve our on-track performance. With the appointment of Ayao Komatsu, we have fundamentally placed technology at the center of our management.’

Haas continued: “We have had some successes, but we must be consistent in delivering results that help us achieve our broader goals. We need to be efficient with the resources we have, but improving our design and engineering capabilities is key to our success as a team.

Steiner (pictured with former Haas driver Mick Schumacher) made his name as the American team's foul-mouthed boss and won a fan base in the Drive to Survive series

Steiner (pictured with former Haas driver Mick Schumacher) made his name as the American team’s foul-mouthed boss and won a fan base in the Drive to Survive series

“I look forward to working with Ayao to fundamentally ensure we maximize our potential. This really reflects my desire to compete well in Formula 1.”

Both drivers from last year remain on the roster for the 2024 season with the Carolina team which rose from the ashes of the bankrupt Marussia team and took over their Banbury factory in Oxfordshire.

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