Ahead of the new Formula 1 campaign, Haas announced that Ayao Komatsu has replaced Guenther Steiner as its Team Principal.
The press release from Haas F1 left no ambiguity as to why precisely Komatsu has been put forward as the new leader of the team, as he will bring extensive knowledge in the engineering field to his role.
Komatsu was born on January 28, 1976 in Japan but moved to Europe in 1995 to study in the United Kingdom. He has been active in F1 since 2003, working in various roles across the grid en route to becoming a Team Principal.
With a Bachelor's degree in Automotive Engineering as well as a PhD in Vehicle Dynamics and Control under his belt, Komatsu joined British American Racing (BAR) as a tyre engineer in 2003.
He remained with that team for three years before moving to Lotus (Renault). There, he developed from Performance Engineer to Race Engineer to Chief Race Engineer in 10 years.
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Grosjean's right-hand man
When Haas F1 made its debut on the F§ stage in 2016, Komatsu went to work for the US-owned team, initially in the same role he held at Lotus in its final year.
He held that position throughout the team's current years, and as such, fans may have heard him regularly over the drivers' onboard radio.
The move from Lotus to Haas, by the way, was not accidental - he transferred with Romain Grosjean to the American squad.
He was the Frenchman's race engineer during all of Grosjean's Lotus years and considers Grosjean a close friend, even after he suffered a devastating crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix and ended his F1 career.
Despite Grosjean's departure from the sport, Komtasu remained with Haas.
His promotion to the helm of the squad gives it the benefit of employing an individual who is not only just experienced in F1, but also within the team itself.