British Grand Prix – Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says that both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean are in the doghouse after colliding at Silverstone.
Haas’ interest in the British Grand Prix ended on Lap 9 on Sunday. Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were racing each other side by side through Turn 5 entering the Wellington Straight on the opening lap when the pair made light contact with each other. It seemed insignificant, but it resulted in punctures for both drivers and the resulting damage forced them both to pit – Magnussen on Lap 1, Grosjean on Lap 2.
The damage proved to be terminal, with Magnussen retiring on Lap 8, and Grosjean on Lap 9.
Speaking afterwards, team boss Guenther Steiner was beside himself with astonished anger at his drivers actions as this race had been serving as a testing platform with the two cars running two different race specifications.
“Both of them are in trouble.” he glowered. “It’s not acceptable. I was pretty clear after Barcelona (where the pair also engaged in a battle that resulted in cost points) what not to do. We’re in a difficult enough situation trying to get the car back on track and they’ve got the chance where it seems like our long runs are OK. Then they crash into each other at Turn 5, and that’s not acceptable.”
Asked about what he said to his two drivers in the team’s post race meeting, he said: “They didn’t speak. I told them. To explain something like this [to the drivers], you don’t need a lot of time. You can say a lot in only a few words and I’m obviously disappointed to have to say it. Everybody is working hard to get out of the hole we are in. The drivers are given a chance to score points or, at least, learn something and they do this. I don’t need an explanation.”
As for whether he has a solution on how to keep Grosjean and Magnussen apart on track, Steiner said: “I don’t have a solution. I need to sleep over it, I need to wind down and come up with a solution. Coming up with a solution is my job. Everyone here works for the team, and I’m the first one to work double the time and I want everyone to be steering the same direction. When I saw the clash happen, I couldn’t believe it. We had two cars running into each other, and it’s a disaster.”
“The clear instruction was even if someone was to give up [in a potential move], give it up and we’ll sort something out during the race.” Steiner continued. We discussed this after Barcelona.”
“We said that if you give up a position and we know you’re in the right, then we’ll give it back to you.”
The incident was questionable in terms of who was more to blame as it appeared to be a relatively straightforward racing incident, but Steiner said he isn’t apportioning blame to either driver in particular:
“I am not jumping to who is to blame. I didn’t like the move but it’s the team thing. They aren’t happy now but we’re not either – we lost two cars.”
“I’m going to sit down during the week with a clear head and think about what to do, because it’s not acceptable.”