Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has read the riot act to his drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after the pair clashed on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix and effectively ended the squad’s charge ot increase its woes at a difficult time for the US squad.

Following the off-track distractions of the ongoing dispute between the Formula 1 team and its title sponsor Rich Energy, Haas had hoped to kick-start its difficult campaign with a stronger showing at Silverstone but saw its race wrecked by a first-lap clash between Grosjean and Magnussen.

The pair collided at Turn 5 and both picked up rear tyre punctures, duly requiring pit stops which dropped them to the back of the pack, before both had to retire due to damage sustained in the clash.

The incident marks the second high-profile crash between the Haas drivers, as the duo also made contact during the Spanish Grand Prix, which Steiner feels piled on the problems for Haas.

“It was a very disappointing race for us,” Steiner said. “I’m just stating the obvious here. The best that our drivers could bring to the battle was a shovel – to dig the hole we’re in even deeper. We need to go back, regroup, and see what we do in future.

“Both of them [are in trouble], it is not acceptable what happened. I was pretty clear with them after Barcelona, what not to do.

“In the end, we are in a difficult position at the moment, how to get the car work on track. Everyone works hard like hell. Then when we get a chance, and our long runs look okay, we crash into each other on Turn 5. It’s not acceptable.

“Everyone works hard to get out of this hole that we are in. We do the almost impossible and when we get the chance to score points or to at least learn something to move forward, they do something like this.”

Looking to find positives from the British round, Steiner says the team will regroup over the two weeks before the next race in Germany and assess what progress it has made over its tyre performance woes.

“I think we had the tyre temperature a bit more under control,” Steiner said. “Between the wind and track changing, you needed to be out at the right minute of the day. We still need to understand why it went down in Q2.

“We got some data, not a lot today obviously, we have four turns, that will not help a lot. We need to go through the data and then see what Hockenheim brings.”