Komatsu has “a huge challenge in front of him” at Haas – Grosjean

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu will face a “huge challenge”, predicts the team’s former driver Romain Grosjean.

In brief

Komatsu faces “huge challenge” – Grosjean

IndyCar racer and former Haas F1 driver Grosjean says the team’s new principal Ayao Komatsu has a lot on his hands in his first season in charge.

Grosjean raced with Haas in Formula 1 from their first season in 2016 up to leaving the sport at the end of 2020. Komatsu was announced as Haas team principal on Wednesday, replacing Guenther Steiner.

“I’m very happy for Komatsu, first of all,” said Grosjean. “He’s a very good friend of mine. I’ve competed at every one of my 181 grands prix in Formula 1 with him working on my car somehow. His kids are the same age as my kids, so we’ve been very good friends, and I’m excited for him. It’s a huge challenge in front of him, so I’m excited for him.

“I wish Guenther all the best in his next chapter. He’s definitely a man that’s got a lot of ideas and things to do, but for me the main thing is very happy for Ayao.”

Tost doubts Verstappen will be equalled

Former AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost doubts any driver will be able to match world champion Max Verstappen in the same team.

The Red Bull driver has won the last three world championship titles and scored over twice as many points as team mate Sergio Perez last season. But Tost doubts any driver would be able to hold a challenge to Verstappen in the same car.

“If Max continues to have a good car, he will win many more races and titles,” Tost told F1 Insider. “He’s still not at his limit and will get even better. No driver who is or will be his teammate will ever progress beyond the role of number two driver.”

Mahindra drop AI ‘ambassador’ after backlash

The Mahindra Formula E team have shelved a controversial AI-generated ‘ambassador’ which prompted a negative reception from fans.

The team publicly revealed ‘Ava’, an AI-generated model they intended to act as a brand ambassador for the coming Formula E season. But following widespread criticism, team principal Frederic Bertrand said the team would scrap ‘Ava’.

“Nurturing diversity, inclusion and innovation is at the hear of Mahindra Racing,” Bertrand said. “Our AI influencer programme was designed with this innovation in mind. Your comments hold tremendous value. We have listened, understood and decided to discontinue the project.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Komatsu has “a huge challenge in front of him” at Haas – Grosjean”

  1. Has all the signs of a ‘classic promotion of the runner up’ within the team, which usually amounts to nothing. Let’s hope for all people involved at Haas I am proven wrong. You would think they’d learn from other teams though.. well, let’s see.

    1. To me the appointment of his successor points to Steiner having been the one to step out rather than the team thinking this through.

      1. It looks like it developed very quickly but I can’t tell which one was holding the smoking gun.

    2. Somewhat agreeing. Its fair to run a next man up system and prepare for it, but here im agreeing with BasCB that its looks like an unprepared move and on top of that picking the best engineer within the team. So it isnt a promotion of the best within the team in terms of leadership, but the classic most knowledgeable specialist who is then removed from his speciality.

  2. AI replacing ‘influencers’ should be a good thing.

    I don’t even understand why somebody lists ‘influencer’ as occupation. It would be much better to refer to them as what they are good at which attracts views; they can be an expert in a certain field, comedian, actor, or just being good looking. And failing all that, we could call them ‘spruiker’, as that’s what they really are.

    1. We already had a word for them – grifter!

    2. I don’t even understand why somebody lists ‘influencer’ as occupation. It would be much better to refer to them as what they are good at

      They are people that are good at being famous for being famous and expect people to take more notice of their views as a result.

  3. So the FIA once again judges its own work and rules that it can do no wrong. I’m interested to see what the grounds will be. Spain’s national court of appeal ruled that the wording of several articles included in the Sporting and Technical rulebooks may be contradictory… Sounds familiar…

    No wonder Mercedes didn’t bother going to the International Court of Appeal over 2021.

    Quite simply, you can’t have the body appointing people to preside over cases brought against the body. The conflict is too huge. Nobody will sacrifice their relationship with the FIA by ruling against it.

    It’s a corrupt process in its very essence.

  4. The Esports FIA F4 category will have shorter sprint races, providing more action

    Biased opinion presented as fact.

  5. At least Grosjean won’t be one of those problems.

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