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
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021