Haas F1 principal Guenther Steiner is still bristling after his team was stripped of sixth place in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean was excluded from the results after the race for a technical infringement relating to a new floor on the VF-18, following a protest lodged by the Renault team.
The team has formally initiated an appeal against the decision by the Monza race stewards.
“Sometimes people react this way,” Steiner said when asked about the events in the most recent race. “If they cannot beat you on the track, they try to beat you in court.
“That is what seems to be happening. You have to work hard to be envied. We’d rather work hard for it and fight even more.”
With Haas and Renault locked in a tight battle for fourth place in the constructors championship, Steiner admitted that gamesmanship in the paddock was becoming almost as hard-fought as the racing out on the track.
“Absolutely. Sometimes, you have to do that. You take any approach in racing. Is it the right thing to do? I’ll let others determine that.”
“This doesn’t distract me. Our people know where they need to put the effort in. We don’t get distracted when we go racing. We try to always get good results in racing and leave the other stuff offline.
“I would say this happens, but you don’t actively think about it or put any effort into thinking about it.”
Steiner suggested that Renault’s actions last week may even help spur Haas on to bigger and better things at the next race in Singapore.
“It’s in the back of your mind and it motivates you more. It’s more like, ‘I don’t really care what you do. We’re still going to do a good job’.
“Everybody on the team is going for a good spot, fighting for fourth. They are motivated. It’s not like I have to tell them or they have to be told. Everybody has that spirit already in them.
“We’ve shown that the car is good, the whole team is good and the drivers are good,” he continued.
“We knew this from the beginning of the year, but we didn’t capitalise on it and didn’t get the points out of it that we should have.
“There was doubt from those outside of our team at the beginning of the year as to whether we could keep up this form, and we’ve shown that we are pretty solid.
“I would say we are surpassing our own expectations a little bit because fighting with a works team like Renault, we didn’t think we could do that at any time, never mind in our third year.
“I think everybody can be pretty proud of that.”