Winning the championship is not the same as winning the race. If you were trying to win the race, you might get the best driver, engine and chassis you could but perhaps you might use a floor in your car that pushes the limits of the regulations and delivers the race win.
What you may not be considering is that to be a fierce competitor for the entirety of a championship, you have to be a fair competitor and one that runs their races well. One that gains the respect of those who compete with them and consider their integrity and character to be part of their resilience and legitimacy for winning the constructor’s championship.
On the surface of it, perhaps Haas F1 was looking at the race win and not the championship or they didn’t understand that win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters. But that’s on the surface, what lies underneath is a more complicated matter of summer work stoppage, deadlines that were unachievable and miscommunications.
Renault Sport F1 lodged a complaint over the floor on Romain Grosjean’s car after the Italian Grand Prix and said it contravened Article 3.7.1.d of the technical regulations and a technical directive (TD) published before the summer break.
While true, Haas F1 said it had communicated with the FIA that due to the summer break, they may not be able to get the parts developed from their suppliers in time for Monza and a lack of a response from FIA technical director, Nikolas Tombazis, suggested the FIA were fine with the timeline Hass mentioned. Tombazis says that a conversation with Haas F1’s technical guru, Ben Agathangelou, left no confusion that they would be subject to possible protests from other teams in Monza if they did not rectify their floor design.
It’s an interesting one as the stewards said there was another team who did manage to comply with the TD issues on July 25th. I don’t think Haas F1 was being deliberately insouciant about their floor. They knew there was an issue and had notified the FIA that the timeframe for remedy would be impossible for them to achieve given the summer work stoppage.
Haas F1’s Gunther Steiner says the team will appeal the decision, but it will have to make a strong miscommunication case against the FIA in order to find success. As it is, Grosjean’s elimination from the race means both Williams score points and Sergey Sirotkin his first-ever points.