Haas team principal Guenther Steiner admits he held “clear the air” talks with his drivers immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix following their clash on track.
Romain Grosjean had been running in seventh place ahead of Kevin Magnussen for the majority of the race, but after a Safety Car period Magnussen looked slightly quicker and forced his way past his team-mate. Grosjean twice went off track at Turn 2 during the battle, and then slipped further back in the points, eventually finishing 10th behind Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat.
“The debrief wasn’t difficult,” Steiner said. “I spoke to both drivers straight after the race; I wanted to clear the air. We cleared the air, we are OK. I told them ‘I’m not sitting here until midnight looking at videos to see who’s fault it is’.
“We need to learn from this and move forward. We got away quite lucky even if we lost some points, in the end we still had two cars in the points which is always good.
“They have a good relationship between the two of them, they had that before and I wanted to make sure there is nothing said from one of them which upsets the other one, so I got them both straight after the race. We talked it through maybe for 15 minutes, and we said ‘we move on from this and don’t do it again’. Can I promise that they won’t do it again? No.”
Steiner revealed he has had to hold talks with the drivers before, but understands there will always be potential for similar scenarios when team-mates are close together on track.
“Yeah we had this [before] but they are race car drivers,” he said. “There is a point where… I don’t want to go into detail about who did what and who did the other, because then we’re sitting here and you’ll have a different opinion, and we’ll need to put the video up, and I don’t want to do that. I think it looked worse than it was, the whole scenario, and that’s it.”
Although pleased that both drivers are performing at a similar level, Steiner he said Haas should have had more points to show for a strong race.
“It’s a nice thing to have, but the negative is we lost some points,” he said. “But it’s better like this if we fight for points. We are in a good position here, the car was good, and I think it spiced the race up a little bit because it was getting quite dull in the end. So we should get something for it; we should get some premium points for keeping people entertained. Bonus points! We get it for the fastest lap, we should get it for the best entertainment.”