LONDON – Haas title sponsor MoneyGram is taking the departure of fan favourite team boss Guenther Steiner in its stride and planning to be in Formula One for the long haul, chief marketing officer Greg Hall said.

Hall told reporters at a pre-season event with new principal Ayao Komatsu and drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen that the sponsor did not get involved in racing or team decisions.

Italian-American Steiner, a star of the Netflix docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’ where he stood out for his blunt assessments and colourful language, was replaced by Japanese engineer Komatsu last month.

There had been some speculation about MoneyGram’s reaction to the news, with the team suddenly losing its biggest personality.

“Guenther’s left and he was well loved in ‘Drive to Survive’,” said Hall. “People who liked Guenther are always going to like Guenther. He’s a great guy.

“From a racing perspective … coaches get changed all the time. You can be a great coach but if you’re not producing results owners tend to make changes. I think most people kind of understand that.”

Hall said MoneyGram had a five-year deal with Haas and were looking forward to season two, despite the U.S.-owned team finishing last in 2023.

“We are going to continue to do the things we did last year, bringing fans and customers closer to the action and that’s what makes it all work for us,” he said.

“We finished 10th last year and we had fantastic results from a marketing perspective. So it’s not a correlation that has to be tied to your position in the constructors’ (standings). REUTERS

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