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Haas F1 Team

Why new Haas boss must still 'call Gene'

Haas boss Ayao Komatsu will carry on the tradition of his predecessor Guether Steiner.

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Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu has explained why he still 'calls Gene' - an act made famous by predecessor Guenther Steiner.

As part of Netflix's Drive to Survive, Steiner would often be filmed preparing to call owner Gene Haas to debrief over the result of the day, either good or bad.

The scenes became a key part of the series, but Steiner moved on from his role as team principal ahead of the 2024 season to be replaced by engineering chief Komatsu, who has led the team to points finishes in three of the first five races.

When the point of 'calling Gene' was put to Komatsu, he explained why he still carries it on.

"I don't have to do it, but of course, Gene is very interested," Komatsu explained when asked by RacingNews365 if he still had to 'call Gene'.

"He is an owner very interested in racing and results, and so after every qualifying, after every race, I speak to him."

Komatsu also explained the importance of having an interested, hands-on owner running a team, pointing to an example from his past of what can happen when things go wrong, when Genii Capital allowed Lotus to fall into difficulties before it was sold to Renault for 2016.

"And then sometimes he calls me, I think it was in Australia in Q2, even before the end of Q3, my phone was ringing, and then I spoke to him after Q3 because I wanted to see how it would pan out," he said.

"But honestly, we have a good conversation, and I think it's very good that we have a really interested owner.

"I had the completely opposite case at my last time [Lotus] with Genii, who did not care, and that is not good for the team's motivation.

"Gene wants us to perform, he is the one bankrolling us, so it is great for me and the team that he is engaged. He came to the first two races, so that was very positive for the team, and, of course, he's coming to Miami as well."

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