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Monday, March 4, 2024

“I’m not right here to interchange Steiner’s character”

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As an alternative, the Japanese says his focus is on making the appropriate adjustments that he thinks are wanted behind the scenes to assist transfer the American-owned squad off the underside of the grid. 

In a wide-ranging first interview with chosen media reflecting on his appointment, Komatsu acknowledged that Steiner’s larger-than-life character was one thing that might by no means be adopted. 

“In fact. I’m not making an attempt to be Guenther Steiner. He’s a really totally different particular person,” mentioned Komatsu, talking as Haas’s F1 manufacturing facility in Banbury. 

“I’m not right here to interchange Guenther Steiner’s character. He’s a really totally different character, as you already know. He’s bought very totally different strengths and weaknesses to me, so I’m not making an attempt to be any individual else.   

“Gene [Haas, team owner] is aware of that, and if Gene needed Guenther Steiner’s alternative in that manner, he’d have appointed any individual else.  

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“I perceive that Gene needed one thing totally different, so I’ll attempt to be the very best model of myself slightly than making an attempt to be any individual else.”  

Komatsu is adamant that his manner of doing issues is not going to be the identical as Steiner’s, however the goal is obvious – get essentially the most out of the strengths inside Haas. 

“I’m centered on enchancment, clearly,” he mentioned. “I’d prefer to assume that I’m appropriate sufficient and I’d prefer to say I’m well mannered sufficient. I’m moderately direct, I believe, after which transparency, honesty: I don’t do politics.  

“I imagine that when you’ve bought the appropriate intention, in case your motivation is obvious to get the very best out of the workforce, I believe it should get by way of to individuals after which actually empower individuals and produce them collectively.”  

Having solely stepped as much as the workforce boss job at the beginning of this yr, Komatsu has spent the previous few weeks making an attempt to construct up a correct image of the strengths and weaknesses of Haas. 

He says that earlier than committing to creating adjustments, he needs to fulfill as many workers as potential – in addition to go to its key services in Italy – to get a greater understanding of what’s wanted to be carried out. 

“I’ll Italy to fulfill with all of the designers and the aerodynamicists we’ve got bought over there,” he mentioned. 

“I would like to extend my understanding in that space. What are the core points? How can we enhance that? 

“I spoke to a number of the individuals right here, but it surely’s not like I’ve spoken with all people already. So, I might like to attend till I converse with everybody. Then get individuals collectively and formulate an outline, slightly than me saying: ‘Okay, throughout the final three days I recognized this’, which might not be an accurate illustration.” 

Whereas Komatsu has not reached any conclusions but, he means that higher communication – and bettering the working relationship between Haas’s UK and Italian bases, will likely be one space of focus. 

Requested concerning the construction of getting workers unfold throughout two international locations, Komatsu mentioned: “In fact, when you’re organising on a clean sheet of paper, you are not going to arrange an F1 workforce with two separate factories within the UK and Italy. However that is how we began.  

“That was very helpful in ’16, ’17, ’18, to get off the bottom. Then, after all, the panorama adjustments, and sure regulation change occurs, and so the workforce must evolve.  

“This type of issues we have to assess repeatedly. However once more, when you requested me, is that perfect, having a UK workplace right here, and Italy workplace there? No. However is {that a} foremost constraint? No. Can we do higher? Completely, sure. So that is what I am centered on. 

“If we get the utmost out of how we’re arrange, after which if then that turns into ‘Proper, we can not do something higher with the best way we’re arrange’, then we will discuss [changing things].”  

Ayao Komatsu, Chief Engineer, Haas F1 Team, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the Sprint grid

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Ayao Komatsu, Chief Engineer, Haas F1 Workforce, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Workforce, on the Dash grid

It has been extensively reported that one of many key areas of disagreement between Steiner and workforce proprietor Haas was over the funding wanted to enhance. 

Whereas Steiner felt that additional money was required to assist the squad get higher, Gene Haas believed it was extra a case of maximising what’s already in place. 

Komatsu is conscious of the large investments being made at different groups – similar to McLaren, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri – however thinks that isn’t the defining factor Haas wants instantly. 

“It is a very powerful enterprise, however I am nonetheless very Positive about what we will do with the present set-up,” he mentioned. 

“Then, as we enhance on the present set-up, sure issues, I believe, will change into fairly apparent and pure which will [make us decide]: okay, we have to diverge barely from our unique mannequin on this manner, and we have to perhaps make investments on this manner. 

“That can come up naturally, I believe, slightly than forcing it. I am not right here to place the place the other way up, as a result of then we can not function, and we are going to cease. 

“Even when we had a large funding straightaway, we can’t be functioning correctly, we can’t be utilizing that funding correctly. So, you’ve got to develop organically. 

“We weren’t the place we ought to be in 2023 – and that is why we determined to make adjustments. However you can’t then abruptly simply go for an enormous leap, as a result of then 2024 will likely be an entire catastrophe, proper? So, we’ve bought to enhance the workforce in 2024. 

“I see it as a transitional section, after which no matter we be taught in the course of the course of the yr in ’24, I am certain that can assist us very clearly outline what we’ll do in 5 years’ time, eight years’ time, or 10 years’ time.” 

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