“Didn’t see it coming at all,” Nico Hulkenberg claims he “regrets” Guenther Steiner’s SHOCK Haas exit
Guenther Steiner was unexpectedly ousted from Haas F1 team ahead of the 2024 season. Now, Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that Steiner's departure came came as a shock to the German driver.
Nico Hulkenberg [L] Guenther Steiner [R] (images via IMAGO).
The 2024 Formula 1 season is just under a month away. However, the grid wouldn’t be the same after Guenther Steiner‘s exit from the American team. Hence, ahead of the season’s start, Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg opened up about his feelings regarding Steiner’s exit from the game.
Hulkenberg recalled that team owner Gene Haas informed him about Steiner’s departure from the team over a phone call near Christmas day. The German asserted that the news was surprising to him and he didn’t see it coming at all. The team might have showcased an upward trend down the season, despite Haas not exactly delivering the best performance in terms of stats and numbers.
I got a phone call from Gene between Christmas and New Year, He informed me of his decision, which was surprising, I didn't expect it and didn't see it coming at all.Hulkenberg told Sky Sports Germany.
Apart from this, the 36-year-old recalled that he had frequent conversations with the former team principal and asserted that they both shared a great bond professionally as well as personally. Additionally, Hulkenberg mentioned that he ‘regrets’ Steiner leaving the sport behind but had to just move on from the fact that the Drive to Survive star wouldn’t be around anymore.
I have spoken to Guenther since several times, and talking to him is always fun. I have a good relationship with him, both professionally and personally - he was the one largely responsible for my comeback [to F1]. He opened the door for me, I regret he is gone, but it is Gene Haas's decision, and we will just move on.
Guenther Steiner was a great commercial asset to the team
Nico Hulkenberg did not hesitate to mention the fact that Guenther Steiner was a very valuable face at the pinnacle of motorsport. Steiner contributed to the great success of the Netflix Docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ and Hulkenberg also accepted this fact.
Steiner has been ousted from the Haas F1 team and likely won’t return anytime soon. Hence, the German driver added that he would miss the person and his ideology on the grid. Regardless of the 58-year-old’s exit from the team, Haas would have to thrive in the sport and continue rebuilding the team in Steiner’s absence according to Hulkenberg.
Ayao Komatsu has been appointed as the team principal at Haas F1 team following Steiner’s exit. Hence, time will tell about Komatsu’s contribution to the team and where it would lead the team. The 2023 season was definitely not one of the best for the Haas racing team and hence the team needs a great comeback in 2024.
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