Gene Haas will invest in F1 team if ‘used responsibly’, says Ayao Komatsu

US-based team has seen promising start to 2024 season following decision to dispense with long-time team boss Günther Steiner.
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  • Former team boss Steiner blamed lack of investment for team’s underperformance
  • Team owner Haas has already committed to new motorhome for next season

Haas Formula One team principal Ayao Komatsu has said owner Gene Haas is still keen to invest in his eponymous team if the money is not wasted.

Before the start of this season, Haas decided to move on from long-time team boss Günther Steiner, telling the Formula One website at the time that “it doesn’t seem like continuing with what we had is really going to work”.

Komatsu, the then-director of engineering, was chosen to replace the charismatic Italian, but Steiner left Haas blaming a lack of continued investment for the team’s under-performance.

But, with a promising start to 2024 under new leadership, Komatsu has revealed that Haas has reaffirmed his commitment to his team.

“I got appointed officially on 10th January, right? Gene’s message from day one was absolutely clear: he said he’s got money, he is ready to invest it,” Komatsu told Motorsport.com. “But we’ve got to show him we can use the money responsibly, efficiently.

“He doesn’t want to see the waste. There’s a reason he’s a billionaire, right? He doesn’t like to waste money, right?



“So when I looked at it, then there’s so many areas we can improve. So that’s why I wasn’t too worried about his initial message: ‘Come on, you guys need to show me you are using my money responsibly, then get to a certain position, then I think about the investment’.

“But I know for a fact that he’ll really invest when we get to that stage. And already he’s commissioned a new motorhome for next year, which is not a small investment. So we are doing that.

“And also we are now recruiting reasonably – from our size of people, a decent chunk of new recruitments [are] approved. So yes, Gene is now actioning what he told me. So I’m not worried that he’s not going to invest. He will invest. But we [have] to do our part, which is to use his money responsibly.”

According to Komatsu, the new motorhome was committed to before the start of this season, highlighting that Haas’ dedication has not been influenced by an encouraging first few races.

Currently in seventh place in the constructors’ standings, the chances of the Haas team holding off the likes of Alpine, Williams and RB as the development race hots up are slim. Komatsu expects the team to “absolutely” be outpaced.

“Even if we increase the number of people right now, you know, before people joined, it’s going to be another six months, right?” he added. “So we’re really just focused on things we can control, which is what we got.

“How can we do it most efficiently? And then we try to, let’s say, define the updates in a way that we can bring it early, sooner than later.”

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