Guenther Steiner was furious with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after their collision at the start of the British Grand Prix that resulted in both drivers retiring.
Grosjean and Magnussen went side-by-side through Turn 5 – a high-speed left hander known as Aintree – on the opening lap and lightly touched wheels on the exit of the corner. Both cars picked up punctures that caused greater damage as they limped back to the pits, ultimately ending their races, and at the end of a week full of uncertainty regarding the Haas title sponsor Rich Energy, Steiner criticized both drivers for their actions.
“It was a very disappointing race for us,” Steiner said. “I’m just stating the obvious here. The best that our drivers could bring to the battle was a shovel – to dig the hole we’re in even deeper. We need to go back, regroup, and see what we do in future.
“Both of them (are in trouble); it is not acceptable what happened. I was pretty clear with them after Barcelona, what not to do. In the end, we are in a difficult position at the moment, how to get the car work on track. Everyone works hard like hell. Then when we get a chance – our long runs look OK – and we crash into each other at Turn 5. It’s not acceptable.
“Sometimes you can say a lot in a few words. I’m obviously disappointed to say it, what happened. Everyone works hard to get out of this hole that we are in. We do the almost impossible and when we get the chance to score points or to at least learn something to move forward, they do something like this. I don’t need any explanation for this.”
Steiner says the frustration is made all the greater because Haas showed competitive long run pace in Friday practice, comparable to Carlos Sainz who went on to finish sixth at Silverstone.
“They need to know where we are, as a team,” he said. “They need to understand the general condition we are in, we’re fighting to get a few points. Look where Sainz ended up, in the long runs we were faster than them. I’m not saying we would end up there, by no means… (but) it was an opportunity.
“From all the data we have got, it was an opportunity. We knew that because we worked hard for it on Friday. It’s a wasted opportunity. There’s your headline.”