Haas team principal Gunther Steiner says he hasn’t given up on a late Formula 1 season charge with just six points separating it from Toro Rosso in sixth place ahead of the final round in Abu Dhabi but concedes his team may need assistance from recent Renault engine failures.

Steiner believes Haas “has nothing to lose” thanks to his healthy 19 point advantage over nearest rivals McLaren in ninth and wants the US team to aim for Toro Rosso and Renault ahead with only six points splitting sixth from eight in the constructors’ world championship.

While the Ferrari-powered Haas has avoided any major reliability woes all season its direct rivals Toro Rosso and Renault have both been hit by grid penalties for engine changes in recent races and could face further problems at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

No official grid penalties have been announced but with both teams looking preserve their current engines Steiner feels the “frail” Renault power units could provide an opportunity for Haas.

“Our engine this year has been pretty reliable whereas Renault seems to be a bit frail at the moment in all three teams,” Steiner said, “It could come our way but we still need to get our car in the points even if we they finish behind us if we are P11 and P12 nothing changes. We need to do a good race weekend and hope they have some issues.”

When quizzed on whether Haas has any extreme measures it can take in Abu Dhabi with “nothing to lose” Steiner conceded the US team can only try to run a trouble-free and flawless race weekend having switched all development focus to its 2018 efforts.

“If there was anything special we could do we would have done it already,” he said. “That sounds too simple but in F1 if you have something you always try to do it all the time. There was nothing to lose in Brazil and we are still behind so have nothing to lose.”

 

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