Steiner looking for Haas to keep the pressure on rivals

Despite mixed fortunes for his drivers, Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner was content to close the gap in the FIA F1 Constructors' Championship.
Romain Grosjean on his way to eighth place in Sundays Japanese Grand PrixRomain Grosjean on his way to eighth place in Sundays Japanese Grand Prix
Romain Grosjean on his way to eighth place in Sundays Japanese Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean delivered an eighth place result in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix Sunday but Kevin Magnussen finished 20th after a flat left-rear tyre at the start of the race damaged his car too much to continue at Suzuka Circuit.

The Banbury squad remains fifth in the constructors’ ranks, but cut the gap to the Renault Sports F1 Team to eight points after Grosjean secured his fifth points-paying drive in this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship. Haas F1 Team also extended its advantage over sixth-place McLaren to 26 points

The four points earned by Grosjean gave him 31 for the season, the most he has scored in his three years with the team. He is 13th and Magnussen is eighth with 53 points.

Steiner said: “The incident with Kevin [Magnussen], where [Charles] Leclerc ran straight into him, took him out of the race, so we were one car down. Roman [Grosjean] had a few issues with the car, with the telemetry, and with the handling of it. The car was pulling on the straights.

“At one point we thought he had a puncture but luckily we didn’t. Then we had the incident with [Sergio] Pérez overtaking us at the virtual safety car, which we still need to look into.

“The good side is we closed the gap to Renault by three points and I hope we make the rest up in the next four races.”

Grosjean said: “We need to analyse what happened with the virtual safety car restart. I was right on my delta time and Pérez, when the gap was 2.4 seconds before, overtook me straight away.

“We need to check and see if there is not a problem in the system there.

“I thought I had done the job on my side, we did our best. We had a few technical issues on the car which didn’t make our life easy. I think without those, we clearly had the pace to be in front of all those guys.”

Magnussen added: “I passed Charles [Leclerc] around the outside of 130R, then through the last chicane he kept close and slip-streamed down the main straight.

“I went to the right, I think he followed for a bit and then went back to the left and clipped my left-rear tyre. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens sometimes.

“The tyre delaminated and ripped all the floor, it damaged the rear wing, the brake ducts, so we had to retire.”