Guenther Steiner has admitted he was “pretty close” to taking drastic measures after Haas’ two drivers crashed during the British Grand Prix last year but did not pull the trigger because the Haas VF19 was simply a dog of a car that no driver would have mastered.
However, he admits it came close to firing one or both the team’s drivers, and told Ekstra Bladet, “I was pretty close. As you know, I’m temperamental.”
The newspaper claims that the situation became very heated in the hour after the incident at Silverstone, with Kevin Magnussen storming out and Steiner confronting him in the paddock.
“It was strange to me. I thought I was ready for the meeting, but when I saw them both, I lost it. It was close to something happening,” Steiner recalled.
It is believed he considered ousting either Magnussen or Romain Grosjean, but ultimately the pair have been retained for 2020.
“It was just so disappointing,” Steiner said. “We were having such a difficult time in the season already, but if I think back now, we created the problem ourselves.
“I’m not making excuses for the drivers, but there was so much pressure. After Silverstone, they asked me to give them clear instructions on what to do in a certain situation, so we got it under control.
“But that’s another reason we didn’t change one of them. No driver would have made a difference in that car.”
And so for 2020, Steiner hopes Haas solves the often mysterious problems with the car and then competes once again for fourth overall in the championship.
“Why would I think it’s not possible when we did it in 2018? In 2017 we were mediocre, but we became stronger in 2018 with the same rules. I hope we can do the same now,” he added.
‘Tis the season of giving!
You’ll never guess what Romain, Guenther and Kevin bought each other pic.twitter.com/FLxGfhWEYQ
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) December 24, 2019