Steiner plays down Grosjean criticism

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Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner has downplayed criticism of the team's car from lead driver Romain Grosjean, after an undoubtedly torrid time for the Frenchman at Singapore.

Grosjean ran only four laps in last Friday's practice session and then suffered more problems on Saturday when he went into the barriers during qualifying to bring out the red flag. Even worse was to come on Sunday when he failed to even start the race after suffering brake-by-wire problems on his way to the grid.

At one point over the weekend Grosjean stated that the Haas was the worst car that he had ever driven, but Steiner played down those comments and said they were the entirely understandable result of Grosjean's frustration in the circumstances.

"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. A car doesn't fall apart in two weeks. We just couldn't find the set-up.

"It started bad and it ended worse," acknowledged Steiner of Grosjean's race weekend as a whole. "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.'"

Steiner said that he wasn't concerned or annoyed by Grosjean's somewhat voluble criticism of the team and the car at such moments.

"I think he acts pretty well for what he had to do. He gets emotional about it but then again he got it back. We texted when he left, he's fine. He'll recover and be back as good as he can for the next race in Malaysia."

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