Steiner baffled by poor performance

Team boss Guenther Steiner was baffled by race performance
Team boss Guenther Steiner was baffled by race performance

Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix proved to be a problematic one for the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team.

Kevin Magnussen struggled to find pace all evening but salvaged a 13th-place finish while Banbury team-mate Romain Grosjean could not overcome the effects of opening-lap contact and was forced to retire just 16 laps into the 57-lap race.

We need to investigate why this happened, especially after a strong qualifying

Team boss Guenther Steiner

Magnussen held 15th position until two laps from the end, when both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg from the Renault Sport F1 Team stopped on track with issues, giving Magnussen 13th place

Grosjean’s race was essentially over when Racing Point driver Lance Stroll made heavy contact on the opening lap.

After completing his 16th lap, the team called him to the pits with significant damage to the floorboard, leading to his second consecutive retirement to start the season.

Steiner said: “It was a very disappointing race, not least with Romain effectively going out on the first lap, having been run into by somebody.

“The performance was just not good enough to get into the points.

“We need to investigate why this happened, especially after a strong qualifying. We’ll try to find the cause of it, we go back to square one and start afresh in China.”

Grosjean said: “I didn’t see anything at the start, I got hit from behind, then the car was too damaged to continue ultimately. But I’d lost so much time with the initial rear puncture heading to the pits.

“That’s always the risk when you start not where you want to start. We should have been starting eighth but it is what it is.”

Magnussen added: “We were sceptical about our race pace after Friday but honestly, I thought we would have corrected that with the changes we made.

“It’s unbelievable to be able to qualify sixth, best-of-the-rest, then be so off in the race.”