Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team, Guenther Steiner has said that Scuderia Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi’s Free Practice outings did not help the team nor its drivers, Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen.
Giovinazzi – who recently missed out on a potential full-time seat with the newly rebranded Sauber F1 Team to current Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and fellow Ferrari academy member and reigning FIA Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc – partook in seven Free Practice 1 sessions with the American team in the second half of the season.
However, Steiner said that the Italian’s contributions were more of a hinderance than a blessing, given the various issues that plagued the Haas duo throughout the season.
“I don’t think it helped us or our drivers,” he told Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet.
“I cannot say how negative it was, but it was not positive. We will see what we are doing next year, but we have not talked about it yet.”
Giovinazzi raced in the first two Grand Prix of the 2017 Formula 1 season for Sauber – deputising for the injured Pascal Wehrlein – impressing on his debut in Australia, but crashing out of the following Chinese Grand Prix.
It is believed that Ferrari wished for Giovinazzi to race with Haas in 2018, but Steiner said that they were never pressured.
“They asked, but if you don’t ask you don’t get what you want.”
“They did not pressure us. We quickly clarified that we have two drivers next year. It was pretty straightforward.”
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne understood Giovinazzi’s frustration at the lack of a race seat.
“We understand his desire to race but at the moment there are no places,” said Marchionne.
“The time will come for him too. He’s made enormous progress.”