Haas have had a few expected teething problems in their debut season of Formula One, but team principal Gunther Steiner is firm in his belief that the team have had a strong season.
The Malaysian Grand Prix was the first double DNF for the American team, the first bitter taste of a completely fruitless race weekend. Grosjean retired early on with a brakes failure, his Haas dramatically pirouetting into the gravel just beyond the final corner. Gutierrez managed to get further into the race before one of his front wheels went rolling off with a mind of its own. The team were fined for an unsafe pit release to the tune of around £5000 – Should make the FIA’s Christmas party that much sweeter…
After the race, a deflated yet perspective-wise Steiner said,
“It’s difficult to say we’re unlucky because that sounds like an excuse, because you make your own luck in life. But I think there are a lot of things happened which are out of our control and we just try and get them together, like Romain in Singapore when he did 11 laps in the race – what can you do? It’s just one after another.
[In Malaysia] we started off not finding a balance in the car, and then to find the balance and we’re pretty happy. The race is going as it should go. Esteban obviously had a puncture on the first corner because [Kevin] Magnussen ran into him and punctured him, but with Romain we were in a good position, everything was well under control and our strategy was right what we wanted to do – and then the disc breaks. You can call it unlucky but it’s still our fault, you know.”
– Gunther Steiner
This “lack of balance” would have been expected on Grosjean’s car, the Frenchman unhappy with the direction of the base set-up that has been tweaked slightly as the season has progressed. He’d decided to wipe the slate completely clean before the Malaysian race weekend – So it was back to square one for him.
Steiner is still full of praise for the work ethic of the team despite a disappointing weekend and added,
“We normally dig our way out, we work hard to get our way out. If on Friday [in Malaysia] somebody had said that Haas would end up 12th and 13th in qualifying then a lot of people would have laughed about it, but we got it done because we kept on working.
The only thing to get out of this stuff is to keep on working. This is no miracle: we can say we’re unlucky but you make your own luck and you get lucky if you work hard. These things happen, analyse what it was and prevent it from happening again – and never give up.”
– Gunther Steiner
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) October 2, 2016
Haas remain in Constructors limbo in 8th, barely threatened by Renault in 9th and unlikely to catch Toro Rosso in 7th. A few more points on the board would be nice nonetheless.