Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says his team was “like a lame duck” after an uncompetitive showing during last weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
For the seventh time in eight races, Haas failed to score a point and remains seven points adrift of Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ championship. Although both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean advanced to Q2 on Saturday, they faded in the race before Magnussen’s late retirement, and Steiner admitted that the Sunday struggles are becoming easier to handle because the team knows what’s coming.
“The thing is, I get used to it,” Steiner said. “My expectations were low. My thing is not to get too upset about the situation because that’s not good. You know what you can do, but it maybe makes you appreciate the good days more when they come back. You need to go through the lows to appreciate the highs sometimes, and it’s easy to forget that.
“Sundays, we know now that unless everything goes perfect, then we are struggling. It’s always the same, and we fall back. It’s difficult because we cannot do anything about it; we are sitting there like a lame duck.”
Magnussen’s retirement came from an apparent brake failure at the end of the long straight before Turn 12 late in the race, and Steiner said there was no warning other than the driver complaining the brake pedal was getting long.
“We couldn’t see overheating or anything,” he said. “We don’t know exactly what happened with the brake disc or if it was the caliper. I don’t know yet. Something broke on the brakes. He complained on the radio that it was long but it didn’t show any overheating, so we tried to manage it and then I guess something broke.
“You can see on the camera that some dust came out, but I don’t know exactly what happened.”
With just two races remaining, Steiner is also taking solace from the fact the season will soon be over and he can start to turn his attention to next year’s efforts.
“Thank God!” he said. “I would be happy with one to go but I think we have two more to go. It’s tough at the moment, as you can see we have nothing… We’re just working defense and that’s difficult. It’s like having a football [soccer] team with 11 defenders and nobody in attack, and everybody attacks you and you cannot do anything.
“We just try to do damage limitation, and if everybody else does a good job then that doesn’t work because we cannot do anything. Obviously every strategy you do is wrong because you still fall back, so it’s just a lack of speed.”