The last two Grand Prix’s have seen the Haas drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, colliding with each other, including a first lap crash at Silverstone which resulted with both drivers having to retire. Whatever they might say in interviews, Magnussen and Grosjean seem frustrated with each other and such tension surely cannot breed an effective working relationship. Gunter Steiner, the Haas team principal, has ruled out any driver changes halfway through the season. However, he has some difficult decisions to make as Haas are set to announce their line up for 2020 following the summer break.
Overall Haas has had a tough season, currently sitting eighth in the constructor’s championship, only above Alfa Romeo, who are level on points, and Williams, who have only secured the singular point so far. For a team that is so closely linked to Ferrari their progress this year is borderline embarrassing. Something clearly needs to change for the team as they should be achieving far more than they currently are. To put into perspective how badly this season has gone, in their debut year, Romain Grosjean had solely scored more points for Haas then both drivers have done so far this year.
It certainly doesn’t help when both drivers seem to not get along, with the current status of their relationship being highlighted when they touched wheels during the German Grand Prix. Steiner, however, is adamant that a bad personal relationship should not affect their working one. But with their recent results, most notably the crash at Silverstone, it is hard to deny that the bad blood between Magnussen and Grosjean is having a knock-on effect for the whole team’s success.
Steiner has put his foot down and imposed stricter rules of engagement between the two drivers following the catastrophe of Silverstone and the close scrape between the two at Hockenheim. Magnussen and Grosjean have accepted the strict stance that Steiner has placed with the view that it is what is best for the team. Therefore, at the Hungarian Grand Prix don’t be surprised to hear some strict team instructions from Haas if the two are to come close during the race. And if that scenario does arise, I wouldn’t be surprised if those instructions are disregarding in the heat of the moment as I don’t think either driver will enjoy being told to let the other pass.
This season already seems to be a write off for Haas and something needs to change drastically in order for the team to recover for the next, and unfortunately for either Magnussen or Grosjean, this probably means one of them has to go. But who should Steiner choose? Personally, I think it is a rather easy decision, Magnussen has clearly been the more consistent performer of the two, scoring far more points and achieving the teams best finish this season. Grosjean on the other hand has retired in five of the eleven races that have taken place so far and scoring only eight of the twenty-six points Haas have this season. On top of this Magnussen has a contract until 2020, whilst Grosjean’s ends at the end of this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Grosjean’s contract wasn’t extended at the end of the season and for a replacement more suited to Magnussen come in.
Do you agree with me? Will we see Grosjean leave Haas next season?
Let me know in the comments below!