Self-inflicted errors cost Haas a fourth-place finish in the 2018 Formula 1 constructors’ championship, according to team boss Guenther Steiner.

The American squad continued its impressive progress in just its third year in F1, ending the season fifth in the standings behind only Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault.

Haas finished 29 points adrift of Renault following a tight, season-long scrap for the ‘best of the rest’ tag, with Steiner admitting his team paid the price for making a number of mistakes throughout the campaign.

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“I think it is our own fault that we didn’t finish fourth,” Steiner said. “I think it is part of the learning we have as a team.

“We are only in our third season and to finish fifth is great, to finish first of the privateers I would put it because the guys in front are all works teams except Red Bull but they work like a works team, they are well funded.

“We could have been fourth, but ‘could’ and ‘would’ doesn’t do you anything so I decided to be happy with fifth.”

A double pitstop blunder in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix cost Haas a significant haul of points, while Romain Grosjean endured a poor start to the year that featured a number of high-profile mistakes, most notably crashing behind the Safety Car in Baku and causing a first-lap pile-up in Spain.

Points were also lost due to team errors that led to disqualifications for Grosjean in Italy (illegal floor) and Kevin Magnussen in Austin (fuel breach) but Steiner felt Haas responded well to learning from its mistakes.

“If you a mistake once it’s not OK but the important thing is that you don’t make the mistake a second time,” he explained.

“We had this disaster with the pitstop in Australia but we didn’t have one afterwards. We are very thorough, we are in a good place. We just need to make sure now that we keep this good place.

“This is just one example but there is a lot of stuff that we will get better at because we made a mistake and we decided we are going to fix it.”

Haas’ top scorer Magnussen, who ended the season with 56 points and a career-best ninth in the championship, conceded the team failed to capitalise on the strength of its 2018 car regularly enough.

“We had the performance in the car to probably finish fourth in the championship but we haven’t been able to really capitalise enough,” Magnussen added.

“We’re a very new team and I think we are punching above our weight a little bit with a car that’s a little bit too good for the experience we have.”



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