Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the Brazilian Grand Prix result leaves his team with too much to do to catch Renault in the constructors’ championship.
Renault opened up a 30-point advantage in the United States and Mexico, with Haas struggling in the latter of the two races. Although a more competitive performance in Brazil saw both cars finish in the top 10, the combined return of six points leaves Haas needing to overturn a deficit of 24 points in Abu Dhabi, something Steiner says is not realistic.
“It’s too late now,” Steiner said. “It is somehow (frustrating). But on the other side, don’t forget that we are only in our third year and it’s still quite a big achievement to beat other people. In theory we should have beaten Renault without some mistakes from us, without their protest.
“You know, some fights you win, some you lose. But in the end, for the whole team, it’s still a good result to finish fifth — which we should now unless something magical happens in Abu Dhabi. We can be happy with that.
“It’s always frustrating a little bit because you always think you can do better — but that’s racing. You always want to do better than you actually do.”
With Haas missing a number of opportunities to score significant points during the season — and also losing eight points when Romain Grosjean was disqualified from the Italian Grand Prix, which saw Renault gain a further two in total — Steiner highlighted the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as the most damaging weekend to the team’s hopes of fourth place.
“I think we had a very strong run into the mid-season break. After the mid-season break we didn’t have a few strong races, then we had the protest, Mexico was a very bad race… So I don’t think it was lost because of any of those reasons.
“I think if you say fourth place was lost in Australia more than anywhere else — 22 points, plus the points that Renault scored, we would be fourth now.
“But if and when doesn’t count. We are grown-ups; we can live with that, we can still be proud.”