Criticised for having a go at his drivers, Guenther Steiner has made it clear he won’t be going to the “public, drivers or press” for management tips.
Haas team boss Steiner is well known for speaking his mind, he doesn’t shy away from having an opinion, even if that opinion is about one of his own drivers.
While in years gone by he lambasted his former driver Romain Grosjean, calling him “very challenging” and “tough to manage”, this year both Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher has earned their team boss’ ire.
The latter saw Schumacher’s uncle, former F1 driver Ralf, hit back at Steiner.
“As a driver, I wouldn’t have put up with that and would have grabbed him,” said the Sky Germany pundit.
He added: “No driver wants to read in public how his team boss criticises him. That should happen internally.”
Steiner has made it clear that he won’t be taking management advice from Schumacher, or anyone else.
“Everyone has their own management style,” he said in an interview with Sport1.de. “I have mine.
“I’m the team manager and don’t have to tell anyone how I do my things. And I won’t ask the public, drivers or press about it in the future either.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) November 21, 2021
2021 has been a trying season for Haas, not only has the team had the slowest car on the grid, leaving them bottom of the log without a single point, but Steiner has also had to deal with team-mate issues.
Fielding two rookies determined to make a name for themselves, and more often than not racing solely against one another at the back of the field, Mazepin and Schumacher have clashed several times.
Both have taken their grievances to the press, criticising their team-mates in the media.
Steiner has somehow managed to avoid breaking any doors, something Kevin Magnussen failed to do last season after a dressing down from the Italian.
“You can see that I actually stayed very calm this year, right?” said Steiner. “Yes, we had a couple of accidents and disagreements between the two of them early and mid-season.
“Even if it wasn’t easy, we managed to get the two of them to understand each other. You know where the limits are.
“When it threatened to escalate, I used my method of solving this without considering the public’s opinion.
“The two respect each other. You don’t always have to agree, but respect has to be there. I don’t really care if they’re best friends or not.”
He added: “I prefer to talk to both of them together and not first with one and then with the other. Otherwise you are just a messenger. I do not have time for that.
“I sit down with both of them, usually taking the race engineers with me so that they know. It usually takes a few meetings to anchor itself in people’s minds, but then it usually works.”
Has Steiner worked his magic on his feuding drivers?
Has Guenther Steiner worked his magic on his two duelling rookies?