A first lap collision between his drivers was not what Guenther Steiner ordered for last Sunday’s British Grand Prix, but a clash between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen saw them both suffer damage that ultimately led to both retiring before ten laps were in the books.
Qualifying had been difficult for the Haas F1 Team as Grosjean qualified fourteenth and Magnussen sixteenth, but they both battled over the same part of track at turn five on lap one, damaging both cars and leaving them both trailing to the pits for repairs.
Magnussen was the first to retire after just six laps while Grosjean made it to lap nine, but Haas team principal Steiner was left angry by the first lap clash, their second in as many seasons on lap one at Silverstone.
“It was a very disappointing race for us,” said Steiner. “I’m just stating the obvious here. The best that our drivers could bring to the battle was a shovel – to dig the hole we’re in even deeper.
“We need to go back, regroup, and see what we do in future.”
It is not the first time in 2019 the drivers have clashed, with the two banging wheels during the Spanish Grand Prix in May, although both drivers made it to the chequered flag that day and inside the points.
Steiner was therefore incensed the clash occurred, particularly when they need as much information as possible to understand the VF-19 fully with many shortfalls affecting what has been their worst start to a season in their short history to date.
“It’s not acceptable what happened,” Steiner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I was pretty clear with them after Barcelona what not to do.
“In the end, we are in a difficult position at the moment trying to find out about the car on track. Everybody works hard like hell, and then it seems we’ve got a chance when our long runs [on Friday] were OK.
“[Then] we crash into each other on Turn 5, which is not acceptable. It seemed on Friday that we could get into the race with some chance, and then we spoiled it [ourselves]. Between Austria and here they’ve both been tough, one one way and one the other.”
Steiner revealed the drivers did not speak after the race as he lambasted them during their post-race debrief, and he let them know exactly his sentiments as they lost out on scoring points once more.
“To explain something like this you don’t need a lot of time,” said Steiner. “Sometimes you can say a lot in a few words, and I’m obviously disappointed to say it. Everybody works very hard to get out of this hole that we are in, and you guys see that.
“We do the almost impossible, and then we have got the chance to get points, or at least learn something to move forward, they do something like this. For me, I don’t need any explanation of it.”