Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says no blame can be laid on either Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen for its poor 2019 Formula 1 campaign which was hampered by car performance flaws.

After encouraging pre-season tests and opening races which showed promise, the US team’s season drifted away in terms of performance relative to its midfield rivals as Haas ended the year in ninth in the F1 world constructors’ championship.

With just two points scored across the entire second half of the season, as Haas switched focus early to its 2020 preparations, both drivers faced continued problems around tyre management and race pace performance as the team often qualified strongly before fading in the races.

As Haas found it tricky to cure its car issues, Steiner says fault cannot be put on either of its drivers given their feedback earlier in the year raised concerns which weren’t addressed until its problems became clear much later into the season.

“I think in no way can I attribute our not-so-good season to them [Grosjean and Magnussen], and therefore we stay with the same driver pairing,” Steiner said in Abu Dhabi. “I think we need to be honest and say they couldn’t have done better with the car.

“You always can do better when you’re not running into each other, but they just tried too hard at some stage. I don’t think I can jump to a conclusion that they didn’t do a good job this year.”

Despite the team’s frustrations, Steiner hopes Haas and its drivers can learn from its mistakes for 2020 and use the stable regulations meaning wholesale changes won’t be required over the winter.

“I think for them it was as well an eye-opener, because at the beginning of the season, the car was looking good, they were both very positive about the car, and then it didn’t pan out like it looked like,” Steiner explained.

“We ended up in a few situations where we maybe tried too hard as a team, as drivers, everyone just tried too hard to force the result that wasn’t there, because the car wasn’t there, and everyone was focusing on how can we get the car better. That’s maybe what we learned of this as well, to focus on the right thing.”

Haas sticks with both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen as its drivers for the 2020 F1 campaign as the US squad aims to return to its 2018 form which resulted in an impressive fifth place in the world constructors’ standings.

 

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