Not always a fan of F1’s stewards, Guenther Steiner says even though Haas lost the right to review, it was “worth it” when the stewards rapped the FIA over the knuckles for doing a “bad job”.
Hours after this year’s United States Grand Prix, video footage from several drivers’ onboard cameras began to do the rounds on social media as they showed potential track limit violations at Turn 6.
None of those had been picked up and penalised by the stewards during the Grand Prix.
Guenther Steiner: I don’t regret it
This led to Haas lodging a request for a right to review the classification of the Austin race with the onus on the American team to bring new evidence to the table.
However, the stewards rejected Haas’ request as they ruled that none of the evidence presented was new or relevant. They explained that the footage had been available during the race but it was not considered sufficient evidence due to the lack of fixed CCTV footage.
And then they laid the blame for that, urging the FIA to find a better solution for track limits.
“[The stewards] find their inability to properly enforce the current standard for track limits for all competitors completely unsatisfactory and therefore strongly recommend to all concerned that a solution to prevent further re-occurrences of this widespread problem be rapidly deployed,” read a statement.
“Whether the problem is properly addressed by better technology solutions, track modifications, a combination thereof, or a different regulation and enforcement standard, the stewards leave to those better positioned to make such assessments.”
That part at least made Steiner happy.
“I don’t regret it,” he told the media in Las Vegas. “Obviously, we were conscious that it would be difficult to make it stick, but at least we tried and that’s what was done.
“What came out is that the stewards actually said to the FIA they are doing a bad job. We didn’t get anything out of it, but you have to try, you have to try.
“In life, you have to fight you can’t just go, ‘Oh, I will do nothing’.
“What they [stewards] said is that they [the FIA] should have done is make sure that a CCTV camera was at Turn 6 so that I don’t have to go there.
“That is the number one. They should make sure they’ve got the means in place to check their own regulations, not me sitting at home or Aston Martin checking what they are doing. That is not the team’s job.
“In half an hour, we didn’t have enough time to go through all that stuff [to lodge a protest], because that is not our job. We are not the governing body, we are a race team, we pay somebody to do this job.”
Steiner believes he did Formula 1 a service in the request as now the FIA has to take action.
“[The protest] was worth it for the whole of Formula 1, not only for us, because everybody agreed but nobody did anything about it,” he said. “”It is about helping Formula 1 to develop the rules.”
Asked if he felt the team had received a fair hearing, the team boss replied: “A fair hearing would be that they accepted the right to review and viewer and could review it properly but obviously, they didn’t want to go there, for obvious reasons. And that’s that’s it, end of story.
“But as long as we move forward and get better in the future, that is already a win.”