Haas Formula 1 boss Guenther Steiner concedes his side has been forced to resort to approach each race with a “damage-limitation” mindset due to its performance struggles.

Kevin Magnussen ran within the top-10 early on during Sunday’s United States Grand Prix before falling down the order and eventually retiring with a brake failure as Haas’ performance issues continued in Austin. Teammate Romain Grosjean was the last classified runner, a lap down in 15th. 

The American squad has been testing various aerodynamic concepts across the season in a bid to get on top of its car, but it has been unable to find a breakthrough.

“It’s tough at the moment, we are just working on the defence and that’s difficult,” Steiner explained.

“It’s like having a football team with 11 defenders and nobody in attack, and everyone attacks you and you cannot do anything.

“You just try to do damage limitation and if everybody else does a good job then that doesn’t work because you cannot do anything. Then every strategy you do is wrong because you still fall back. We just overheated the tyres and then we are dead. 

“The thing is I get used to it,” he added. “My thing is to not get too upset about the situation because that’s not good. It’s tough.

“You know what you can do but it maybe makes you appreciate the good days more when they come back. You need to go through the lows to appreciate the highs sometimes and it’s easy to forget about that.

“It’s like on Sunday’s, we know now that if not everything goes perfect we struggle and fall back. You cannot do anything about it. We are sitting there like a lame duck.”

Haas has scored points on just one occasion in the last eight races and finds itself languishing in ninth place in the constructors’ championship, trailing Alfa Romeo by seven points with two rounds remaining.

Asked if it is proving hard to keep the team and drivers motivated, Steiner replied: “I actually discussed it with a few guys this week and I think the team still believes we can get out of it because we can do better.

“I tried to figure out which state of mind they are and in my opinion, they are for sure not happy - and I would be worried if they were all over the moon.

“We are going through a tough time and we will get out of it. Let’s hope next year comes quick, that’s more like the state of mind at the moment.”

 

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