Haas Formula 1 boss Günther Steiner believes Haas is still well-placed in the battle for midfield supremacy in 2018 despite losing ground to Renault at the German Grand Prix. 

A late shower scuppered hopes of a two-car points finish in Hockenheim for the American squad, after it gambled by pitting both its drivers for intermediates, only for the rain to subside - resulting in the team having to double-stack its drivers to switch back onto slicks.

Both drivers lost time and track position in the pitlane, and while Romain Grosjean pulled off a remarkable recovery to take sixth, teammate Kevin Magnussen could only manage 11th. Given the chaotic nature of the closing stages, Steiner backed Haas’ decision-making and strategy.

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"He [Magnussen] went off twice and Hulkenberg passed him and got ahead of him, and then we decided to bring him in to put intermediates on and it started from there,'' Steiner explained. 

"It's always difficult to say if it was right or wrong, I think it was the right decision to take him in because it was too slippery out there because with our worn tyres we had on, the risk to go off somewhere like Vettel did were very high because they were very horn and both drivers said there was no chance to get the tyres up to temperature.

"You're in between and at the time you don't know how long the rain lasts. If you put new tyres on they cool down so quickly so they don't grip anymore so it's one of these situations where we were at that point we can just lose because we have to cover but we don't want to take any risk as if you take risk you can lose everything. 

“I think we did some damage limitation overall with Romain finishing sixth, so it's not too bad, we got away with it not too bad but we need to exactly study if we could have done the two stops on a different lap, not double stop them. We need to look into it.’'

Steiner stressed it is always easier to look at the situation in hindsight, rather than considering the high-pressure stakes at play during the race. 

“It happens in such a short time all these decisions and I think you have to make sure you cover the Renaults, that they’re not doing anything too risky or silly against them and end up with no points and you have to think about if you leave them out can this tyre work? And the answer was clearly no. 

“The pitstop was not seamless to be honest, the double stop was not perfect by any means. There are a few things we need to look in more detail but in general, this is part of racing. You always afterwards can do better and with hindsight you would do different but I think we got away with it.”

Despite dropping to sixth in the constructors’ standings behind midfield rivals Force India after the Silverstone-based squad recorded its third double points haul on the bounce, Steiner is confident Haas remains in a strong position in the battle over fourth - currently occupied by Renault, which now holds a 21-point buffer.  

"If we continue to do what we are doing we are still in a very good position,'' Steiner insisted. ''Yes we lost two points but in the big picture, it's not a lot. I would rather have gained two points for obvious reasons but we lost them. These things happen but as I said before it's racing.

"When we were running on normal conditions actually Romain was getting closer to Nico and for us, it was going how it should be going and the sky opened up. 

“Going forward I am pretty confident that we can put a good battle on for fourth, if we win it or not I don't know but for sure we are in a good position to do it.''

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