Haas’ Guenther Steiner: “We got two cars to the end, but the result is quite disappointing”

by Paul Hensby

Guenther Steiner was critical of the race performance of the Haas F1 Team during Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, with the team principal feeling disappointed to come away from the weekend with a fourteenth-place finish for Romain Grosjean and the seventeenth-place result for Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen’s weekend was wrecked, literally, by a crash at exit of the final turn during Qualifying on Saturday, meaning the Dane was forced to start from the pit lane in a completely rebuilt car, while Grosjean was compromised by the crash, seeing his chance of advancing into Q3 end as he was the first car on the scene of his team-mate’s crash.

Grosjean’s race was compromised further at turn one when he was forced to take evasive action around debris to drop to the rear of the field, while Magnussen struggled with the set-up of his car, meaning he finished seventeenth out of the eighteen finishers at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“The weekend didn’t end better than yesterday,” said Steiner.  “We got two cars to the end, but the result is quite disappointing.”

Steiner admitted the team gambled on a different set-up for the race due to Magnussen starting from the pit lane, but ultimately this gamble failed to pay off as the Dane struggled for pace.

“In the rebuild of Kevin’s car we tried a little bit of a different set-up, because we could, because of the pitlane start,” said Steiner to Motorsport.com. “Obviously that didn’t work.

“We know now, at least we learned that one. It wasn’t a conscious choice to make the car worse, the choice was to try to make it better, and it didn’t work.”

Steiner also revealed that he had to step into the argument between Magnussen and his engineer to prevent any further negativity being relayed back to the team. 

Magnussen was heard criticising the team, feeling that the Canadian race was ‘the worst experience I’ve ever had in any race car ever’, something the team principal felt was not needed to be said over the radio.

“I said if it comes again I need to say something, then he came again, then the race engineer started to talk and I don’t want an open discussion on the radio, what they think about, they need to stop it,” said Steiner.

“You need to be strong sometimes, because I know when to stop them. I know only one can stop them. I know these guys pretty well. They listen, they know it’s enough. If I speak, I have a different view of it, we don’t need to do this on the radio with all you listening and having a good laugh at us.”

Steiner said everyone in the garage knew that the race was not turning out the way they had hoped, but the lambasting coming from Magnussen was not what they needed to hear.

“Because there are a lot of people who are disappointed with how we are doing at the track, and they don’t need to be reminded,” he added. “When you see it once but when it started ongoing, we discussed this long enough, we all know what this is about.

“He apologised to everybody on the radio after the race. It was good. Everybody is frustrated, the guys work until three in the morning and you’re last, it’s not something that motivates you, and you don’t need anymore discussions about how bad it is.

“I was fully conscious and what I wanted to avoid was the guys getting beaten down more than they need to be. He didn’t mean to be critical, and he was just trying to explain a situation, that this was a very bad situation.

“But I’m not blaming anybody. But when you’re on the other side of the radio, you don’t know that, and maybe I could understand it, but the guys do not know because they do not know the proper story, or what is happening.

“He apologised to everybody, like a grown up does, and you move on. There is no point to dwell over it.”

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