Haas will not silence Romain Grosjean despite the Frenchman’s damning criticism throughout the Singapore GP weekend.
After an epic start to the season in which Grosjean scored points in three of the opening four grands prix, with a best result of P5, Haas have fallen off the pace of late.
This has left Grosjean frustrated and not afraid to voice it.
In the wake of Friday’s practice in Singapore, he said it was the “worst Friday you could imagine”, while after his qualifying crash he said that his “confidence is shit, close to zero.”
Grosjean failed to take to the grid on Sunday, his race over before it even began due to a brake problem.
His continuous criticism has raised questions about how Haas will manage the driver, however, team principal Guenther Steiner is adamant he won’t silence him.
“You know me, I let people speak,” Steiner told Motorsport.com. “He’s got an opinion. It’s his personality.
“It’s easy for me to say, ‘Romain, don’t say these things any more.’ But then you guys have no fun! So why should I kill everybody’s fun?
“I’m not too critical about that. If he decides to be like this, it’s OK. After the race we spoke, he was frustrated, he was pissed off. I would be, and I am.
“He got over it, and he’s ready now for the next race. That’s the only thing you can do.
“We need to analyse what went wrong, but he didn’t do anything wrong, so he doesn’t have a lot to analyse. He has to get ready and get prepared for Malaysia.”
The team boss acknowledged Grosjean’s frustrations in Singapore but insists his comments were aimed at the set-up issues, and not the VF16 as a whole.
“I think that was just referring to the set-up, that does not refer to the car in general because the car two weeks ago was pretty good,” he told F1i.com. “A car doesn’t fall apart in two weeks. We just couldn’t find the set-up.
“It started bad and it ended worse. If you don’t run in FP1, FP2 I always say if you try and do too much in too short a time you pay the price for it, we lost practice as well.
“In FP3 we weren’t on the ball, and then in qualifying he had to overdrive it to get somewhere near to a good time and put it in the wall.
“Then we had to change the gearbox and when we changed the gearbox maybe this [brake-by-wire] problem appeared. It all started in FP1 and we never got out of the negatives, the downward spiral.
“He’s frustrated but I spoke to him and said, ‘Let’s get back to the Malaysia again, let’s get back to when we were good in Spa and Monza, let’s see the glass half full.'”