Steiner says rivals are protesting because they can’t beat Haas

Image by Andy Hone/LAT

Steiner says rivals are protesting because they can’t beat Haas

Formula 1

Steiner says rivals are protesting because they can’t beat Haas

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes Renault’s recent protest against the legality of his team’s car is because the American outfit is so hard to beat on track.

Romain Grosjean was excluded from sixth place in the Italian Grand Prix after a protest lodged by Renault about the floor on the Haas, with the result having originally seen the two teams swap positions in the constructors’ championship. Having been the fourth-fastest team for much of this season, Steiner (pictured above) says the extra scrutiny that comes from Haas beating more established teams does not faze him.

“I wouldn’t expect it, but sometimes people react this way,” Steiner said. “If they cannot beat you on the track, they try to beat you in court. That is what seems to be happening. You have to work hard to be envied. We’d rather work hard for it and fight even more.”

Gorosjean en route to sixth in Monza, before his DQ. (Image by Zak Mauger/LAT)

When asked if the on-track competition was spilling into “paddock gamesmanship” Steiner replied: “Absolutely.

“Sometimes, you have to do that. You take any approach in racing. Is it the right thing to do? I’ll let others determine that.

“This doesn’t distract me. Our people know where they need to put the effort in. We don’t get distracted when we go racing. We try to always get good results in racing and leave the other stuff offline.”

While Haas is working hard to maintain its current level of performance until the end of the season, Steiner admits there will be some additional motivation in the battle against Renault given the recent protest.

“I would say this happens, but you don’t actively think about it or put any effort into thinking about it. It’s in the back of your mind and it motivates you more. It’s more like, ‘I don’t really care what you do. We’re still going to do a good job.’ Everybody on the team is going for a good spot, fighting for fourth. They are motivated. It’s not like they have to be told. Everybody has that spirit already in them.”

Haas is now 10 points behind Renault in the fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship, having lost Grosjean’s eight points from Monza and Carlos Sainz gaining a further two points as a result.

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