Steiner "baffled" as Haas pair clash again


It is somewhat ironic that the time penalties handed to the Alfa Romeo drivers meant promotion for their counterparts at Haas, thereby giving the American team its best points haul of the year.

However, team boss Guenther Steiner is only too aware of the fact that, aside from Alfa Romeo's issues, it was the calamities that befell the likes of Leclerc, Hamilton and Bottas that also benefitted his drivers.

'On notice' following their first lap clash at Silverstone which saw both drivers subsequently eliminated, it was perhaps inevitable that on a day the legendary Formula One Script Unit appeared to have reformed, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen would add to the fun and games.

Sure enough, on lap 56, as they battled for tenth, the pair clashed, the Dane subsequently making his sixth stop of the afternoon.

While the stewards noted the incident no further action was taken, however, at a time many are wondering whether Pierre Gasly will be quietly dropped by Red Bull over the summer, there are doubts over countryman Grosjean.

At a time the American team is seeking to discover the issue with its car, an issue which sees it qualify in the top ten then fade away come race day and has resulted in the "drastic" step of running its two cars with entirely different set-up, one as used in Melbourne, the last thing it needs to be further compromised by warring drivers.

"I was as surprised as maybe everybody else that after what happened in Silverstone, they do it again," said Steiner. "I mean, I didn't speak with them after the race, there's no point. I will do it before Budapest and find a clear line what to do and what not to do. If they don't understand what that means, I need to tell them event by event and lap by lap what to do, and I think that will happen.

"I haven't seen the incident in the replay," he admitted. "I've seen it once on TV. I need to look at it and we need to come to a conclusion because we are not really quick, so we don't need any more distractions or loss of points by running into each other or into anybody else as well.

"It's one of these things where I'm baffled in the moment. We will regroup and go again."

"We don't have a rule that we are not allowed to race each other," said Magnussen when asked if he felt the battle with his teammate had compromised the team. "We've been told very clearly that we can't touch each other, and I see no reason why we had to touch each other today. It's very clear I was on the inside, it's not like I was diving on the inside, and then he chooses to turn into me. I don't know what he was doing.

"I respect him a lot," he said of his teammate. "I think these incidents could be avoided. There are other areas where we can work very well as teammates, so we need to get over this."

"I guess we are going again to Gunther's office," said Grosjean. "But on that one I think I was ahead, and it's a bit of a shame."

Driver issues aside, Steiner said: "Our pace wasn't good. We finished ninth and 10th not on merit or speed.

"I'm not standing here saying, ‘Hurray, everything is fantastic'. Our speed wasn't there. I've never seen this, how can a car be so quick in qualifying and going down to that pace in the race?

"The only thing we can do in this situation is keep on working and try to find out why. There's no magic to it, and today, why we're lucky is we kept on the track and finished ninth and 10th, which is at least double points. But that's the only highlight of the day."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 29/07/2019
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