F1 fans stunned as Drive to Survive legend departs role as Haas team principal

F1 fans stunned as Drive to Survive legend departs role as Haas team principal

F1 fans stunned as Drive to Survive legend departs role as Haas team principal

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Formula One fans have been reacting to the news of Guenther Steiner departing from his role as Haas team principal.

The 58-year-old Italian - who has been in charge since 2016 of the American F1 team owned by Gene Haas - became an unexpected cult figure in the sport thanks to the Netflix series Drive to Survive.

Viewers loved Steiner's candid phone calls with Gene, (and his swearing) with one of his memorable quotes from the show being in season two where he dropped an impressive amount of f-bombs after teammates at the time Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen crashed each other out of the 2019 British Grand Prix.

But there was one particular part in Steiner's rant which became a meme among F1 fans - "He does not f***ing smash my door," Steiner said in response to when Magnussen stormed out of his office and damaged his office door.

Another iconic quote from Steiner was during a phone call to Gene about the team's performance in season one - "We just f***ed this one up …but, Gene, if we finish fourth or fifth here we f***ing look like rock stars. Now we are a f***ing bunch of w***ers. A bunch of f***ing clowns."

Steiner also went viral when he said in 2021: "Last year, for two points, I would have f***ed the whole paddock," though he cheekily claimed later that he had been misheard and had actually spoken about “hugging” the paddock for the points.

Last year, Steiner released a book aptly titled Surviving to Drive where he gives an account of his 2022 season of running an F1 team which became a No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller.

Haas finished 10th place in the 2023 Constructor Standings with 12 points while their drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished in 16th (9 points) and 19th (3 points) place respectively in the 2023 Drivers Standings.

“I’d like to start by extending my thanks to Guenther Steiner for all his hard work over the past decade and I wish him well for the future,” Gene Haas, Team Owner at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team said in a statement about Steiner's departure.

“Moving forward as an organization it was clear we need to improve our on-track performances. In appointing Ayao Komatsu as Team Principal we fundamentally have engineering at the heart of our management.”

The change in team principal from Haas comes just several weeks until the new F1 season begins at the end of February.

Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen took to Instagram to thank Steiner and described working with him as "both fun and tremendously challenging - but never boring."

Steiner's departure has caused a lot of online reaction from fans who wonder how Netflix will fill the Guenther-shaped hole in future episodes of Drive to Survive.

A Steiner spin-off series perhaps?

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