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Guenther Steiner

Steiner 'stayed too long' leading Haas F1 team

Guenther Steiner departed the Haas team ahead of the current Formula 1 season and was replaced by Ayao Komatsu at the helm of the squad.

To news overview © XPBimages

Guenther Steiner believes that he remained at the head of the Haas Formula 1 team for too long.

The Italian departed the squad ahead of the current F1 campaign and was replaced by Ayao Komatsu who previously worked as Director of Engineering.

Steiner joined Haas as its Team Principal in 2014 ahead of the outfit’s debut two years later.

The US-owned team endured mixed form under Steiner’s leadership, scoring a Constructors’ Championship high of fifth in 2018 before slumping to the back of the pecking order across the last handful of years.

Writing in a column for F1.com, Steiner said: “Life has been good since I left Haas ahead of this season. These last few weeks are the first time I’ve switched off from F1 for around a decade.

“This time has been good for me. The longer time goes on, the more I can see that I stayed at Haas too long.

“When you step away, you get clarity – and you can see what you need to do. While you’re there, you’re in denial, you think you can do it but you cannot.”

Steiner not ruling out F1 return

Steiner highlighted that he has a desire to compete at the front of the field - something that was not a short-term option for Haas.

“When I was there, with what we had, you could still fight for being seventh, eighth or ninth – but you couldn’t fight for podiums without the same weapons as the other guys,” he continued.

“Doing that in the long-term is not what I want to do in life. I don’t want to be seventh again. I’ve done that. I want to be able to fight, to battle at the front.

“When Toto Wolff started with Mercedes, the team at the time was not at the top. Yes, they had the advantage of the engine at the beginning, but he set everything up right to be successful in the mid-term – and they won eight constructors’ championships.

“It’s the same thing with Red Bull. How long did it take for them to get there? Every year, they kept on getting better. You need that patience and long-term planning.

“I would come back to F1 in the future, but it needs to be the right project, done right.”

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