Nico Hulkenberg breaks silence on Guenther Steiner’s exit

Guenther Steiner departed Haas ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

In January, it was announced that Guenther Steiner would be stepping down from his role as Team Principal at Haas ahead of the 2024 season following a disappointing campaign last term, during which the team finished last in the Constructors’ for the second time in three seasons.

Steiner played a pivotal role in the establishment of Haas, presenting the model to US manufacturer Gene Haas, with the team making its debut in 2016.

He was succeeded by engineering chief Ayao Komatsu.

The team has unveiled its first post-Steiner creation, the VF-24 for the upcoming season, with Hulkenberg expressing his surprise at Steiner’s departure.

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“I received a phone call from Gene between Christmas and New Year,” Hulkenberg told Sky Sports Germany.

“He informed me of his decision, which was surprising. I didn’t anticipate it and didn’t see it coming at all.

“I have had several conversations with Guenther since then, and speaking with him is always enjoyable. I have a strong relationship with him, both professionally and personally – he was largely responsible for my return [to F1].

“He opened the door for me, and partly for that reason, I am saddened by his departure, but it is Gene Haas’s decision, and we will simply move forward.

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“[Guenther] made a significant contribution to the team commercially, and it’s no secret that the Netflix series became a huge success, in part due to him.

“We will miss him; he built all of this, as Haas was his concept, his business plan, and his departure will create voids that we will need to fill – but we must begin the rebuilding process.

“That is where our focus lies now.”