I’m not trying to shoot arrows here but an article quoting Haas F1 boss, Gunther Steiner caught my eye. It seems the team boss was “pissed off” about the Russian Grand Prix weekend and who can blame him? From struggles in development to seemingly chronic brake issues to a pointless run, I would be upset too. No doubt about it.
What I found interesting is the quote from the article about why he was “pissed off”.
“I’m pissed off with the weekend, as you get when you have a weekend like this,” said Steiner.
“Almost everything that can go wrong went wrong.”
The focal point then centers on the penalty for Kevin Magnussen when he ran wide at turn 2 and failed to re-enter the circuit according to the bollards placed there and explained to the drivers and teams by the FIA.
“I’m not even trying to argue it, we were told and we didn’t do it,” Steiner said. “You live by your choices.
“[Without the penalty, points] would have been possible but I don’t know – It would have been a tough battle.
“The strategy could have been completely different so it’s difficult to know.
“There was a bigger chance without the penalty.”
Now, in fairness, yes, it was a tough penalty and perhaps K-Mags should have paid closer attention, I’m not arguing that point but what I will say in his defense is…AT LEAST HE WAS RUNNING AND FINISHED THE RACE!
If I were Steiner, I’d be a lot more “pissed off” about the 2017 performance of my top driver, Romain Groshjean, than I would newcomer Magnussen. Grosjean has become a temperamental driver constantly complaining of brake issues and he had a miserable weekend in Russia.
Perhaps there are details that caused Romain’s tough weekend that Gunther knows about and we don’t but I think it’s a tad harsh to take the stuffing out of the only driver who qualified decently and finished the race because he missed out on points when your top driver didn’t even make it to turn three on the first lap.
I get it, things aren’t going well right now but in order to score points, you have to be at least running at the end and so far both drivers have two retirements and both have finished 8th as well as 11th in Bahrain for Romain and 13th in Russia for Magnussen. Not exactly blowing Kevin into the weeds, is Grosjean. I’d say they are relatively even at this point.
I don’t think the Haas F1 car is an easy package to drive but most of the radio diatribes are coming from Grosjean and most of the public slating is also from the Frenchman. Magnussen has kept a low profile and reserved his concerns for the team.
Let’s be fair to Romain, he may feel his career is slipping backwards at Haas F1 and his chances narrowing but he left Lotus just as Renault bought the team and I argued then that he should have stayed. Now he’s on the outside looking in and berating the team, qualifying poorly, crashing out of races and being beaten by Magnussen is not a good way to endear yourself to Renault or Ferrari. To Romain’s credit, I think a lot of the pressure he seems to be under is pressure he places on himself. Clearly by this screed from Steiner, the team aren’t focusing on his shortcomings.
Hat Tip: Autosport