Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says Formula 1’s infamous midfield battle is “tense” as a hearing for Renault’s technical protest against Haas approaches.
With just six rounds left in the 2018 Formula 1 season, Renault sits fourth with 91 points, closely trailed by Haas with 76 and McLaren on 58.
A total of 33 points separate the three teams, whereas Lewis Hamilton
“It’s very tense,” Steiner said in a statement ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.
Earlier in September, at the Italian Grand Prix, Haas driver Romain Grosjean finished sixth but was later disqualified after Renault laid a protest on technical grounds.
“Renault filed a protest against us to take some points away,” Steiner said.
Haas would’ve overtaken Renault for fourth in the Constructors Championship if Grosjean wasn’t disqualified in Italy.
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“That gives you a good indication of how tense the battle is,” Steiner said, “the other teams are trying to get as many points as possible.”
The FIA agreed a reference plane on the floor of Grosjean’s Haas was not in compliance with a Technical Directive that came into force for the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
The directive was first issued to the teams in July.
Steiner earlier told Autosport Renault’s protest was motivated by their desire to finish fourth in the Constructors Championship.
“Renault is in a position where they got overtaken for fourth position, and I think that triggered ‘we need to do something, or we finish fifth’,” Steiner immediately said after the FIA’s decision.
Following Steiner’s comments, Renault’s executive director Marcin Budkowski told Autosport his team “were not happy” racing against an illegal car.
“We were expecting like everybody else that they would come with a floor that complies with the technical regulations in Monza,” Budkowski said, adding he was “surprised” Haas didn’t bring an update.
“It’s as simple as that,” he said.
Budkowski confirmed to Autosport that Renault
The Haas case will be held before the FIA’s International Court of Appeal on November 1st in Paris.