Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the consistency of stewarding decisions has been getting even worse after recent incidents involving his team.
Steiner was unhappy at penalties handed out in the United States and Mexico (above), with the latter race seeing no punishment despite contact between Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean that damaged the Haas. At the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Grosjean lost control while battling with Esteban Ocon at Turn 7 on the opening lap, and with the Force India retiring Grosjean was handed a 10-second time penalty and two penalty points.
LAP 1/71: Debris flies as Ocon and Grosjean collide after the start #F1 #BrazilGP pic.twitter.com/AQXH3AS9rj
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 12, 2017
The Frenchman was surprised at the penalty for a first-lap incident when the stewards have vowed to let drivers race, and Steiner pointed to the severity of the penalty as a source of frustration.
“I share my surprise more in the verdict,” Steiner said. “It doesn’t influence our result here; we were done by then and we took it as a test session, nothing else, but you get two penalty points for a race accident in my opinion, and then [Lance] Stroll got one penalty point [for impeding Grosjean in Austin] when the speed difference was 140kph and that was pretty dangerous.
“So I’m struggling with consistency, and I continue to struggle. It doesn’t get any better by the way, the more I mention it I think it gets worse…”
Having spoken to FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting about his concerns prior to Brazil, when asked if there had been any progress, Steiner added: “Not as far as I know!
“[Brazil] hasn’t shown any progress. So it’s very difficult.”
Both Haas drivers were involved in incidents on the opening lap, with Kevin Magnussen escaping punishment after pushing Stoffel Vandoorne wide on the exit of Turn 2, which resulted in the McLaren hitting Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
“It was a racing incident,” Steiner said of the Magnussen clash. “Turn 1, what should he do? Let everybody by again? I think it’s very similar to [Sebastian] Vettel and [Max] Verstappen in Singapore when Vettel didn’t see that [Kimi] Raikkonen was on the left. It happened, so for me it’s as simple as this.”