APRIL 11, 2024

Owner willing to invest more in Haas team

Haas could soon be getting an extra injection of funding that team critics say is badly overdue.

Kevin Magnussen, Japanese GP 2024
© Haas F1 Team / LAT

Long-time boss Gunther Steiner left the team over the winter following a reported dispute about investment with team owner Gene Haas.

And former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland: "The structure there is not geared towards the future and is not looking towards the future either.

Investments are pending, but they are not being made because Gene Haas has other ideas, he added. It's currently a nice small team for newcomers like Oliver Bearman.

However, according to Steiner's replacement as team boss, Ayao Komatsu, Gene Haas is actually promising more investment.

Gene's message to me from day one was crystal clear, the Japanese engineer told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "He said he has the money, he is willing to invest, but we need to show him that we can use that money responsibly and efficiently.

There's a reason he's a billionaire, right? He hates wasting money, Komatsu added. "We can improve in many areas, so I was not worried about his message.

I know for sure that he will invest when we get there.

Komatsu even reveals that Gene Haas is already promising funding for a new 'motorhome' - the huge temporary HQ buildings that teams take to the European rounds.

He has already authorised a new motorhome for next year, Komatsu said, "and it is no small investment.

We are also actively recruiting - a quite considerable number based on our size has been approved.

The implication of Komatsu's comments is that Haas, 71, was unwilling to promise more money under Steiner's reign - who perhaps was not making all of the best choices.

Gene said to spend the money more wisely, Komatsu said, "so I'm trying to do that. It is step by step. Nothing happens in a day.

But both Gene and his right-hand man are very involved and supportive. The new number of people may not be large for Mercedes, but it is quite large for us. We have to win back the trust, if you will, he added.

But even if we increase the number of people now, it will take six months before they start, the Japanese 48-year-old said. Right now I'm just focused on what we have, on being efficient and on developing the car in the right way.