August 1, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 20 days ago

Motor racing: Haas F1 ready to rein in drivers after repeat clashes

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Haas are going to have to get tough with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after collisions between them in the last two races, team boss Guenther Steiner said on Thursday.

Formula One F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary - August 1, 2019 Haas' Romain Grosjean during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

The Frenchman and his Danish team mate also took to team radio at the last race in Hockenheim to blame the other for the incident.

“My God this guy is incredible. He will never learn,” exclaimed Grosjean.

“What is he doing? Just think about what do you want do because I’m really not comfortable racing this guy,” said Magnussen.

Steiner told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix that he could live with the drivers not getting on but might have to impose ‘team orders’ to sort out matters on the track.

“Maybe it ends up that we tell them what to do, we decide who is doing what when they are getting close to each other,” he said. “When they are close to each other I think we need to take it out of their control.

“I think I have to be firm with them and tell them what to do.”

Last weekend’s German Grand Prix was, ironically, Haas’s best race of the season so far with Grosjean and Magnussen finishing ninth and 10th on track but then promoted to seventh and eighth after the Alfa Romeo drivers were penalised.

Haas are now eighth overall, level on points with Alfa Romeo.

At Silverstone, the collision between the two Haas drivers put both out of the race, infuriating Steiner in the run-up to Hockenheim.

“At the moment they are always together it seems, they are attached to each other,” he said.

“When one starts sixth and one starts 12th, you think ‘we’ll be fine this weekend’ and then after I don’t know how many laps they are crossing over with each other all the time and we are sitting up there ‘should we say something or not?’

“I try to avoid saying something because it’s not what we want to do but at some stage you have to.”

Grosjean started sixth at Hockenheim, in a car set up with the same specification that it started the season, while Magnussen lined up 12th in a car with the latest package.

Formula One F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary - August 1, 2019 Racing Point's Lance Stroll, Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

The Ferrari-powered team are trying to get on top of their lack of race pace by comparing the two setups and Steiner said they had found some answers but would continue to search for more this weekend.

U.S.-owned Haas have yet to confirm their 2020 driver line-up and Steiner said ‘team chemistry’ would be taken into account.

He said it made little sense to drop a driver during the season, and that would be a ‘desperate move’ and not something he was considering.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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