Guenther Steiner: Obviously the FIA don’t understand how these cars are built

Michelle Foster
Kevin Magnussen in action for Haas. Singapore, October 2022.

Kevin Magnussen in action for Haas at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Singapore, October 2022.

After three black-and-orange flags for broken front wings, Guenther Steiner says the FIA’s inability to understand how today’s F1 cars are built is “getting old”.

Kevin Magnussen has been shown three black-and-orange flags this season alone, the first coming in Canada when he was clipped by Lewis Hamilton.

The Dane was bemused by Esteban Ocon when the Alpine driver brought his damaged car to the attention of the FIA through a radio message to his team.

Magnussen said after the race that he had spoken with Ocon who was “joking how he told the FIA that it was really bad. If you know you can influence the FIA like that, you’re going to do it, aren’t you?”

Four races later in Hungary he was again shown the black-and-orange flag and, another four after that, he suffered the same fate in Singapore when his front wing endplate was broken as he tangled with Max Verstappen on the opening lap.

After the reigning World Champion told Red Bull, and Race Control, that it was “dangerous”, Magnussen was called into the pits for repairs and spent his Sunday lapping outside the top ten.

Steiner is frustrated that the FIA don’t seem to understand when Haas explain why they are adamant the car is still safe.

“It is frustrating because it was perfectly safe to continue,” he said as per “It was one of those things, and if it is the first time, you say, you don’t know.

“But in Hungary, we had the same scenario. It was very, very similar, the breakage, to Hungary, and we showed that to the FIA. In Hungary, we had our head of composites, and he explained what is happening, what cannot happen, and what can happen.

“And I think they just didn’t learn anything off it, and then again gave us the black-and-orange flag. It’s now the third time, and it’s getting old.

“They are the technical department which then have to report back to the race director what is safe and what’s not, if they know what they are looking at. Obviously, they don’t.”

The team boss, though, isn’t giving up on his mission to teach the FIA.

“I’m trying hard,” he said. “At some stage, we need to have people who understand how these cars are built. We are not in the eighties anymore.

“We showed in Hungary that you can stand on the part and it doesn’t fall off. It maybe flaps around and then we bring him in because we lose performance, but like this, it doesn’t fall off.

“That is what we showed, and also this one wouldn’t have fallen off. And you know there are materials in which can do a lot more than you think they can do. And they’re intentionally in there. They’re not in there by chance.”

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