Grosjean, Magnussen ‘Couldn’t Have Done Better’ with Haas Car in 2019 – Steiner

by Paul Hensby

Guenther Steiner says there is no blame to be put towards either Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen for the Haas F1 Team’s relatively unsuccessful 2019 Formula 1 campaign.

Hopes were high that Haas could build on their promising 2018 season that saw them end up fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, but a problematic VF-19 that had many flaws, particularly on race days, left them down in ninth in 2019, ahead only of the troubled Williams F1 Team.

Only two points were scored in the second half of the season, both by Magnussen in the Russian Grand Prix, while Grosjean went ten rounds at the end of the campaign without breaking into the top ten and only scored eight points all year.

Whilst Team Principal Steiner admits colliding with each other, which they did on a couple of occasions during the year, wasn’t good, the fact the car was not up to scratch to allow Grosjean and Magnussen to show their true potential was the bigger issue in 2019.

“I think in no way can I attribute our not-so-good season to them, and therefore we stay with the same driver pairing,” Steiner is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “I think we need to be honest and say they couldn’t have done better with the car.

“You always can do better when you’re not running into each other, but they just tried too hard at some stage. I don’t think I can jump to a conclusion that they didn’t do a good job this year.”

ROmain Grosjean last scored points in Germany before the summer break – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Steiner Feels Lessons Have Been Learned for 2020

Steiner feels the team tried too hard to force results during 2019, something they will look to do differently should similar problems affect their 2020 car, but at least there was something positive to take away from a season that they had so high hopes for.

Ultimately it was the flawed design of the car that cost them, with Grosjean regularly running different specification parts to Magnussen in a bid to understand why the pace of the VF-19 dropped off so much on race days.

“I think for them it was as well an eye-opener, because at the beginning of the season, the car was looking good, they were both very positive about the car, and then it didn’t pan out like it looked like,” said Steiner.

“We ended up in a few situations where we maybe tried too hard as a team, as drivers, everyone just tried too hard to force the result that wasn’t there, because the car wasn’t there, and everyone was focusing on how can we get the car better. That’s maybe what we learned of this as well, to focus on the right thing.”

Kevin Magnussen started the year with a sixth place in Australia, but he would only score points on three further occasions – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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