Failed set-up gamble led to Magnussen's radio rant

Haas Formula 1 team boss Guenther Steiner says that an unsuccessful set-up gamble triggered a radio rant from Kevin Magnussen that forced the Italian to step in and tell his driver to stop complaining.

Failed set-up gamble led to Magnussen's radio rant

Magnussen started from the pitlane after his huge crash in Q2 led Haas to switch to the spare chassis and a new gearbox, obliging the crew to work late into the night.

Having dropped out of parc ferme the team was free to make any changes it wanted, and it went for a set-up that it hoped would help the Dane to progress up the field.

However the changes didn’t pay off, and having struggled to make any progress in the last part of the race Magnussen was heard saying: “This is the worst experience I’ve ever had in any race car ever.”

Further exchanges were not broadcast, but shortly after Magnussen’s engineer pointed out that the team was also unhappy with the pace and that the crew had been up all night, Steiner took the unusual step of publicly rebuking his driver, saying: “It means that for us it’s also not a nice experience. It’s enough now, that’s what it means. Enough means enough."

Magnussen apologised to the team on the way back to the pitlane after the race, saying: “Guys, I’m sorry, I know you’re just as frustrated as I am, sorry. And the guys in the garage, big apologies, you done great, as always.”

Steiner admitted that the strategy gamble had backfired and left Magnussen with an uncompetitive car.

“In the rebuild of Kevin’s car we tried a little bit of a different set-up, because we could, because of the pitlane start,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “Obviously that didn’t work.

“We know now, at least we learned that one. It wasn’t a conscious choice to make the car worse, the choice was to try to make it better, and it didn’t work.”

Steiner said he knew he had to step in as the negative conversation between Magnussen and his engineer continued.

“I said if it comes again I need to say something, then he came again, then the race engineer started to talk and I don’t want an open discussion on the radio, what they think about, they need to stop it," he said.

“You need to be strong sometimes, because I know when to stop them. I know only one can stop them. I know these guys pretty well. They listen, they know it’s enough. If I speak, I have a different view of it, we don’t need to do this on the radio with all you listening and having a good laugh at us.”

Steiner admitted that his main concern was the impact of the negative radio messages on a team that had worked through the night to ready the car.

“Absolutely, because there are a lot of people who are disappointed with how we are doing at the track, and they don’t need to be reminded,' he said. "When you see it once but when it started ongoing, we discussed this long enough, we all know what this is about.

“He apologised to everybody on the radio after the race. It was good. Everybody is frustrated, the guys work until three in the morning and you’re last, it’s not something that motivates you, and you don’t need anymore discussions about how bad it is.

“I was fully conscious and what I wanted to avoid was the guys getting beaten down more than they need to be. He didn’t mean to be critical, and he was just trying to explain a situation, that this was a very bad situation.

“But I’m not blaming anybody. But when you’re on the other side of the radio, you don’t know that, and maybe I could understand it, but the guys do not know because they do not know the proper story, or what is happening.

“He apologised to everybody, like a grown up does, and you move on. There is no point to dwell over it.”

shares
comments
Vettel explains why he returned to Canadian GP podium

Previous article

Vettel explains why he returned to Canadian GP podium

Next article

Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?

Does penalty anger hide another Vettel blunder?
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021