Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team Guenther Steiner was left furious with the race official’s decision-making at the Italian Grand Prix as the team boss stated that Kevin Magnussen’s opening lap penalty wasn’t appropriate given the situation.
After Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher qualified towards the back of the grid, both Haas drivers were left with the mammoth task of attempting to take home a positive result from the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
Magnussen’s task was made all that more impossible as contact from behind by Valtteri Bottas into turn one caused substantial damage to his VF-22’s diffuser. After feeling the contact from behind Magnussen opted to cut the corner at turn one to avoid any potential further damage; the race stewards would go onto award Magnussen a five-second time penalty for his corner cutting exploits leaving Steiner furious.
“The thing about this race is basically we got done by the officials. Kevin had an incident at the start where he got shoved off and his diffuser was damaged. He got a penalty because he couldn’t stay on the racing line but with the rear wheels up it’s difficult to stay on the racing line – I don’t think the penalty is appropriate.“
Damage to his diffuser would prevent Magnussen from making any progress and despite undertaking his second stint on the soft compound of tyre, Magnussen would come home last of all the runners who finished the race in sixteenth-place.
For Mick Schumacher, a thirty-three lap opening stint on the medium tyres had potentially looked to set up the German driver for a finish inside the top ten. Schumacher reentered the field from his pit-stop in seventeenth-place and soon started making his way through the field.
Schumacher played his part in an impressive duel with Nicholas Latifi on lap forty-two, with the German driver making the move for fourteenth-place into turn six. By the time of the late safety car, Schumacher was running in twelfth place and just six seconds behind Zhou Gunayu in tenth-place. With the race finishing under safety-car conditions, Schumacher was never given the chance to complete what could have been the drive of the day and claim what at first had appeared to be an unlikely points finish.
On Schumachers performance around Monza, Steiner claimed that the German had exceeded expectations and had done a ‘fantastic job’, such praise from the team boss could prove useful to Schumacher, who’s future still remains uncertain within the team.
“I don’t think I need to discuss the end of the race because what happened, happened and it wasn’t handled how it should’ve been. Elsewhere, Mick did a fantastic job to get P12 considering his lack of time on track this weekend and our expected pace at this circuit.”