F1 News Round-Up: Haas Shows Steiner the Door

Guenther Steiner, one of the most popular characters in Netflix ‘Drive To Survive’ series and team boss of the Haas Formula 1 team has been sacked by his employer (and team owner), Gene Haas.

The Italian-American spent 10 years in his role with the US-based team. However, a lack of results was his downfall. “It came down to performance,” Haas told the official F1 website. “Here we are in our eighth year, over 160 races, we have never had a podium. The last couple of years, we’ve been 10th or ninth.”

“I’m not sitting here saying it’s Guenther’s fault, or anything like that. But it just seems like this was an appropriate time to make a change and try a different direction because it doesn’t seem like continuing with what we had is really going to work.”

The 58-year-old Italian will be replaced by the team’s former director of engineering, Ayao Komatsu. Of the new appointment, Haas said of the 47-year-old from Japan, “Ayao is very technical, he looks at things based on statistics... this is what we’re doing badly, where can we do better. It’s a different approach.”

Alan Makes a Return at Currently Unnamed Red Bull-owned Team

Goodbye may not mean farewell for Steiner as Alan Permane, a 34-year F1 veteran, is now rumoured to be joining Red Bull’s sister team in 2024. The Brit was sacked by Alpine F1 mid-way through 2023. He has previously worked for Benneton, Lotus and Renault – all were based at Enstone.

What that team will be named remains to be seen. The Italian-based outfit were called Toro Rosso between 2006 and 2019. They were rebranded as Alpha Tauri in 2020 but will have a yet-to-be-announced new name in 2024.

Alpine F1 finished sixth in the 2023 World Championship standings. The team were reportedly losing an average of half a second per-lap because its Renault power unit was lagging behind its rivals.

Ocon a Great Bet Against Gasly

If that significant handicap is addressed in 2024, the team could be a surprise package. Its drivers, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are 1000/1 in the championship betting. They both took a single third-placed finish during 2023.

Four points separated the French pair in the final standings with Gasly coming out on top. However, as that driver suffered just one retirement during the season and Ocon failed to see the chequered flag six times, he was clearly the better driver.

Nevertheless, bet365 quote the duo on 5/6 apiece in its 2024 season-long driver match betting. This is the best F1 bet amongst the betting markets that are starting to appear for the season ahead.

These can be expected to ramp-up dramatically during the first week of February when teams begin their traditional launches. Williams and Sauber will be the first to unveil their 2024 offering on February 5.

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2024 Formula One Season

Drivers Match Bet: Esteban Ocon to beat Pierre Gasly

Brundle Is Best

A popular Formula 1 fan site recently polled its readers on its favourite F1 pundit. Unsurprisingly Sky pundits topped the results. The channel represents the only broadcaster with rights to televise every race live.

It was Martin Brundle that topped the vote. Forty-four percent of those that responded chose the former driver – with 25 years of broadcasting experience – as their favourite. What was a shock was former strategist Bernie Collins taking second with 15 percent of the votes cast and former W Series driver Naomi Schiff claiming third with 13 percent.

These place getters are relatively new to the Sky Sports roster. Meanwhile, viewers have seemingly not noticed Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta were dropped by the channel at the start of the 2023 season.

* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.

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