Guenther Steiner should have been celebrating his team’s first double points finish of the season after the Spanish Grand Prix, but the Haas Team Principal instead found himself needing to clear the air between his drivers after they came together in the race’s latter stages.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean banged wheels at Turn 1 as the Dane passed his team mate up the inside for P7 at the lap 53 re-start, forcing Grosjean off track. After bumping back onto the track, the Frenchman slipped back down the order, enduring more contact with Carlos Sainz before eventually crossing the line three places back from Magnussen in P10.
SPANISH GP: Grosjean and Sainz touch wheels in Turn 1 battle
When both drivers returned to their team after the race, they were quickly taken away for a chat.
“We went straight in after the race”, said Steiner, “I said to both ‘Come to the office, we need to clear this’. We cleared the air, we agreed on what happened and we want to go forward strong.
“I mean we had a good race here, I think the good thing is we entertained a little bit in an otherwise quite boring race, so that’s the good thing out of it. We lost some points, we’re not happy about that but is there one to blame more than the other?
“I think we decided we go forward, we are ok with the situation, we know we have a good car and we just need to get the best out of it and not run into each other.”
Romain Grosjean: 'It's been a good weekend' after finishing P10
The incident is not the first time the pair has been involved in an intra-team collision. Both cars made contact during the opening lap of last year’s British Grand Prix while trying to avoid the spinning Lewis Hamilton.
Magnussen said: “Obviously there was contact between me and Romain which is never what you want to see but nothing intentional, glad we still got both cars in the points.”
The Dane’s seventh place gave him his second points finish of the 2019 season, while Grosjean picked up his first point of the year, despite losing positions to Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat. The team hadn’t scored any points since the season opener in Australia coming into round five.
“The re-start was a bit more complicated and not ideal for me”, said Grosjean, “I lost a few positions in there, but yeah [I’m] happy with the way we acted this weekend, happy with the way we showed the car was fast.”
With a seven-point haul, Haas move up to sixth position in the constructors’ standings, jumping midfield rivals Alfa Romeo and Renault.