Spanish Grand Prix – Haas’ team boss Guenther Steiner says his drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean have sorted their differences after making contact while battling over P7.
Both Haas drivers qualified well for Sunday’s race in Spain, lining up in P7 & P8 with Grosjean and Magnussen respectively. With recent races not going well for the team as they struggled for race pace and with understanding the Pirelli tyres, the focus was on consolidating those positions in the race. With a large qualifying gap over the midfield runners, they were hopeful of a lonely race to themselves.
As it played out, Grosjean was able to run a long first stint to get to Lap 27 before changing to the Medium tyre. Magnussen, who stopped on Lap 24 for the same, ended up being passed by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat but the Safety Car intervention meant that he was able to retake P8 when they dived in to make a second stop.
After the Safety Car restart, Magnussen decided to fight his teammate in front and passed Grosjean into Turn 1. The pair made contact at the apex and Grosjean was pushed wide over the escape area. He managed to get back on track and fight back but he ran wide over the same spot again a lap later, again pushed aside by Magnussen as the Dane defended the racing line.
Grosjean then began to struggle and lost position to McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, before being passed by Kvyat as well in the closing stages.
On the cooldown lap, team boss Guenther Steiner told Magnussen: “Kevin, the first one to come and see is me.” He then told Grosjean to “Romain, I will sort this out. Stay calm, come back easy, we’ll speak after but please stay calm.”
Having had their cooldown chat, Steiner explained that the team felt they had lost points as a result of their drivers fighting, but that the two drivers had cleared the air:
“We went straight in after the race. I told both “Come to the office, we need to clear this. We cleared the air, we agreed on what happened and we want to go forward strong.
“I mean we had a godo race here. I think the good thing is we entertained a little bit in an otherwise quite boring race, so that’s the good thing. We lost some points, we’re not happy about that but is there one to blame more than the other?”
“It’s ended as being a little bit of a controversial weekend, but we’ve sorted it out. That’s the most important thing after their race. We maybe lost a couple of points, but we’re all happy to move forward from here, everything is fine. It’s been a good weekend points-wise, with getting two cars into the points.”