Haas F1 Team Boss Guenther Steiner says that he does not accept the excuse of “poor visibility” from Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr, as explanation for the incident that saw the Spaniard collide with Romain Grosjean on lap 1 of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Sainz Jr came into contact with the Frenchman on entry to the Turn 3/4 chicane, which culminated in the Spaniard spearing across the track, narrowly missing McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso, before inadvertently taking out Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa.
The Spaniard claimed he could not see the Frenchman in his mirrors due to him being in a blind spot, and laid blame for that on the 2017 F1 car design, which has seen the introduction of smaller mirrors and lower rear wings. Sainz Jr believes these changes caused the sighting issue, which he has encountered previously this season.
However, Steiner does not accept this line of reasoning, stating that if Sainz Jr knew this was a problem, then he should have made sure that something was done to rectify it.
“If he knew before they were too small, they should have changed them. That is not our problem.
“If he has got too small mirrors that is quite a dull excuse.
“You can’t say ‘Oh my mirrors are too small and I can’t see, but I keep on using them!’
“It’s like if we give you glasses and you cannot see with them, but you keep using them, know you cannot see, and keep running into the wall!”
Grosjean sustained damage to the VF17 but was able to continue in the race, eventually ending the grand prix in tenth place, unlike the luckless Massa who was forced to retire on the opening lap. Sainz Jr meanwhile, who also put himself straight out of action following the incident, was given a three-place grid penalty for the next race.
This weekend’s penalty awarding was also a cause for contention with Steiner on Sunday, after Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was handed a time penalty for overtaking Stoffel Vandoorne under the Virtual Safety Car. When he realised his error, the Dane immediately gave the place back, but that did not hold sway with the Stewards and a stop/go penalty was given.
Steiner does not feel that the awarding of penalties is always done fairly, and stated that he will be looking at the rules again in respect of this area, as he believes they are not completely clear.
“If somebody is penalised it seems to be always us, and I don’t think we are that bad!
“Kevin did wrong, he shouldn’t have started so early, but he gave it back immediately and I actually need to look at it again, as I am still not sure about the regulations and how it is written.
“Yes he did overtake under the VSC, which he shouldn’t.
“But he gave it back. Maybe it was better to stay in front!”