Haas ‘would never leave a car out if it isn’t safe, we are not this stupid’

Michelle Foster
Kevin Magnussen ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, broken front wing. Singapore October 2022

Haas are not “stupid”, they would never let a driver race an unsafe car, insists Guenther Steiner, with Kevin Magnussen again shown a black-and-orange flag in Singapore.

It is the Dane’s third of the season, an instruction from the FIA to pit for repairs or face disqualification.

Magnussen was shown the black-and-orange flag at the Canadian and Hungarian races, both times because of a broken front wing.

It was more of the same in Singapore, the driver involved in a first-lap tangle with Max Verstappen that left him with a broken front wing that had a piece hanging to the side.

Having already fallen from ninth to 12th on the opening lap, he plummeted down to P18 when he was called in on lap six, the last runner still in the race.

“It was a disappointing race as we could have scored points here realistically, without dreaming of them,” Steiner said.

“The incident on lap one with Kevin, we lost all positions and again we received a black-and-orange flag, now for the third time, when there is no need for it.

“We have made it very clear to the FIA on the past two occasions and it’s just like you have your back against the wall.”

Ironically, the Haas team boss had spoken about the FIA’s previous two calls to black-and-orange flag Magnussen just hours before the build-up to Sunday’s race.

He made it clear he would never leave a car out on the track if he felt it was not safe, adamant the piece of wing would not just fall off.

“We tried to explain to them that we have a saying because we would never leave a car out there if it isn’t safe,” he said, quoted by GPFans.

“That is what people have to understand. We are not this stupid.

“If it is unsafe, we are not stupid to leave it out there. It is the first thing of the technical people to make sure the car is safe.

“We know exactly what is happening and how the front wing is built, that it cannot fly away.

“If we think it is dangerous, we will call it in on our behalf, we don’t need to be told.

“I think we have a lot more qualified people to say it is safe or not than the FIA has.”

The Italian, admitting he was “still upset” about the first two black-and-orange flags, accused the FIA of having “just invented” the rule.

“I don’t know where they found this rule again. Now they are happy to apply it and especially to us,” he added.

Magnussen finished Sunday’s race outside the points in 12th place while Daniel Ricciardo, the driver he was running ahead of when he was called into the pits, was P5.

Haas are eighth in the Constructors’ Championship on 34 points, tied with AlphaTauri.

Read more: Conclusions from a rollercoaster of a Singapore Grand Prix