Despite rain falling on Haas F1 Team’s parade in the German Grand Prix Sunday at the Hockenheimring, the Banbury squad made the most of the adversity thrown its way when intermittent rain showers disrupted its strategy and scuttled a likely double-points finish.
Romain Grosjean made a spirited drive in the waning laps following a safety car period between laps 53-57, powering his way from tenth to sixth. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who started fifth and held that position for the first 13 tours in Baden-Württemberg, wound up just outside the points in 11th.
Steiner said: “I think it was a case of damage limitation, it was a very eventful race. We still need to analyse exactly what happened, what we could’ve done different, I don’t say even better, because we don’t know yet.
“But, we got away with eight points, so I think it was damage limitation. I think the race was an interesting one for everybody.”
Prior to rain hitting select portions of the track on lap 44, Haas were en route to its second double-points result of the season.
Tenacious drives by Magnussen and Grosjean combined with the pit stops cycles of their counterparts saw them back in the top ten. As rain began to fall over certain portions of the circuit, Magnussen was up to sixth and Grosjean was eighth.
By lap 52, the rain intensified and that brought out the safety car. When the race returned to green on lap 58, Grosjean was tenth and Magnussen was 12th.
Grosjean tiptoed his way to sixth while Magnussen stayed mired in 12th but was awarded 11th when Renault’s Carlos Sainz was given a ten-second time penalty.
Grosjean said: “It was a good end to the race. Obviously, we didn’t quite get the right choice putting inters on, as the track dried really quickly for some reason.
“It was a bit of luck, a gamble, but we came back on slicks, and I had amazing fun through those last laps. I was just pushing it to the limit and going for it.
“I think we would’ve been quite happy to be where we were before the rain came, and then, obviously, it rained. The boys deserved a really good drive from me, and I had fun doing it.”
Magnussen added: “Obviously, it wasn’t ideal to end up outside of the points after being sixth for the whole race. We didn’t quite get the best out of the weather situation, we’ll just have to learn from that and do better next time.”