Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes Renault’s attempts against his team to stay ahead in the Formula 1 world constructors’ championship shows ‘they will try anything’ to retain fourth place in the standings.

The 2018 F1 season has developed a tense rivalry between Renault and Haas in the battle to top the midfield teams, as Haas has closed the gap to eight points following Romain Grosjean’s eighth place at the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Recent rumours have surfaced of frustration within the Renault camp at a lack of late-season developments, with focus switching to 2019, which has seen Haas begin to close the points gap over the second half of the season.

While Steiner is keen to focus on his own team he accepts any unrest at Renault can only be positive for Haas and feels the French manufacturer is focusing on its rivals too much which culminated in its protest to see Grosjean disqualified post-race at the Italian Grand Prix.

Grosjean, who initially finished in sixth place in Monza, was disqualified for a technical infringement with his car’s floor following a protest from Renault. The altered results in Italy triggered a 10-point swing in Renault’s favour with Grosjean losing eight points while Carlos Sainz Jr was promoted to eighth to gain an extra two points.

“I’m sure they know they have dropped their performance and not helped themselves so they can have nobody to blame,” Steiner said. “If they have confused themselves even more that is good for us, I am not against it.

“You could see they were a little bit desperate when the put in the protest against us in Monza. They will try anything they can do instead of focusing on themselves to get better.”

Steiner, who previously stated he was keen to beat Renault on track and in court ahead of Haas' appeal hearing from Grosjean’s disqualification, says as long as Haas finish ahead of Renault on points after the 2018 finale in Abu Dhabi he’ll be ‘perfectly fine’ with the season but is bracing for a tough fight over the final four rounds.

“I don’t want to catch them quickly, as long as we catch them after Abu Dhabi I am fine. Perfectly fine with that one. I am no hurry,” he said.

“It is still difficult. I know we have four races to go but they were not very strong this weekend and they were luckier than us scoring a point but there performance and pace wasn’t very good. That doesn’t mean that they will be in Austin or Mexico.

“So we need to keep our guards up and do a good job. We are not there yet and we will for sure fight but there is still a long way to go, four races, and 20% of the championship.”

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