GUENTHER STEINER has been sacked as boss of the Haas F1 team.
The 58-year-old was a popular figure within the paddock and shot to fame through his appearances on the Netflix Drive to Survive series.
Steiner was a key figure in the show and mainly known for his swearing.
He had been with the team since their first season in F1 2016.
He will be replaced by Ayao Komatsu, who had been promoted from his role as Director of Engineering.
Steiner’s departure was unexpected and he appears to have paid the price for the team coming last in the constructors’ championship last season.
The team’s owner Gene Haas has grown frustrated by the lack of progress since they arrived in F1.
However, the counter argument has been that the American has under invested in the team compared to their rivals.
Gene Haas said: “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.
“Moving forward as an organisation 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.
“We have had some successes, but we need to be consistent in delivering results that help us reach our wider goals as an organisation.
“We need to be efficient with the resources we have but improving our design and engineering capability is key to our success as a team.
“I’m looking forward to working with Ayao and fundamentally ensuring that we maximise our potential — this truly reflects my desire to compete properly in F1.”
Steiner’s departure comes ahead of the new F1 season, which kicks off in Bahrain on March 2nd.
Komatsu, 47, who has 20 years of F1 experience, has been charged with taking over and leading the Banbury-based team forward.
He added: “I’m naturally very excited to have the opportunity to be team principal at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team.
“Having been with the team since its track-debut back in 2016 I’m obviously passionately invested in its success in F1.
“I’m looking forward to leading our program and the various competitive operations internally to ensure we can build a structure that produces improved on-track performances.
“We are a performance-based business. We obviously haven’t been competitive enough recently which has been a source of frustration for us all.
“We have amazing support from Gene and our various partners, and we want to mirror their enthusiasm with an improved on-track product.
“We have a great team of people across Kannapolis, Banbury and Maranello and together I know we can achieve the kind of results we’re capable of.”