Steiner still fuming over Grosjean/Magnussen clash
Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed that he’s still furious about the way that his two drivers took each other out on the first lap of the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen collided going into turn 5, and the damage on both cars was so severe that the pair were eventually obliged to retire from the race.
Steiner made it clear at the time that he was furious with both drivers for wrecking any chance that the team had to salvage crucial data or the possibility of points at Silverstone.
“I am still not over it,” he admitted this week. “They have got a certain amount of opportunities, and this year we are struggling in some of the races.
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“They don’t let me down as a person,” he continued. “They let the team down which is disappointing.
“As I said, I am still not over it. I get over things pretty quick, but not this one.
“We had a clear talk after Barcelona about what to do and not to do and it was not followed, which is disappointing.
“They need to understand where we are, and that is the disappointing thing to me.
Such fierce words raise the possibility that Steiner might take the ultimate step to stop Grosjean and Magnussen failing to follow team orders – by dropping one or both of them for 2020.
“You know what I can do, I can do a lot,” Steiner said when asked if this was a possibility. “I don’t know yet.
“We decide that one after the [summer] break what we are doing for next year,” he explained. “After the break we will know everything about drivers for sure.
“In Spa you will all be lining up saying what did you do about drivers, and I will say: we are almost there. Give me a few more events and I will tell you.”
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The team had struggled in qualifying for the British GP. Grosjean started from 14th on the grid with an older set of aerodynamic components, with Magnussen lining up just behind in 16th place.
But Steiner had felt that both men would have had a chance to bounce back in the race if they hadn’t taken each other out.
“The car on Friday [in practice] was a lot better in long runs, and that is on times, and if you can compare them that is factual,” he explained.
“If it would have been the same in the race, 100 per cent I cannot say, but the chances were high. And then we were out at turn 5.”
The lack of points from the last four rounds of the 2019 season has left Haas down near the bottom of the constructors championship, between Toro Rosso and Williams.
“I think our position at the moment doesn’t reflect where we are in reality,” Steiner said of Haas’ current ninth place.
“We have got these big ups and downs and when we have ups we put ourselves down one way or another, so that is quite frustrating.”
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