Haas boss Guenther Steiner says Formula One should not make a knee-jerk reaction about grid penalties despite the farcical situation that played out ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
Nine of the 20 drivers were hit with car-related grid penalties at Monza following engine and/or gearbox changes. This meant the official starting grid changed multiple times in the lead up to the race and left the final order looking much different to the final classification to Saturday's dramatic qualifying session.
Even before the events of Monza, F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn confirmed he is considering scrapping grid penalties entirely. Though Haas driver Romain Grosjean was one of the nine, Steiner sees no problem with the current rules as they are and believes it would be hard to find a better alternative.
"We did this for a good reason -- to have cost control," Steiner said of the engine regulations. "If you get only one grid position or something, again the big teams will go away even further because they would change everything, every time, evolve it and be faster. They would make up the grid penalties with being faster.
"Look at Verstappen, or Ricciardo, 35 [positions] and he still finished fourth... The big teams they can make it up and if we reduce the grid penalties, there's no point to do it. The again we would just spend more money because don't care about the grid penalties as we would make it up."
Pressed on whether F1 should consider a change, he said: "There's something to look into it. But change for the sake of changing is not worthwhile. You can have an engine failure, there must be a penalty to change. At the moment, it's nothing too wrong with it. At least, it works, people get slowly used to it. Why change it? If you change it, we need to change to something really better."
One solution which has been put forward is that team's lose points in the constructors' championship instead of being penalised with grid position. With the drivers' championship traditionally holding more prestige than the constructors', Steiner thinks that concept could be easily exploited by the teams with the best resources.
"You could play it to win the drivers' championship. What is worth more, the constructors' or the drivers'? Some people think like this, some others. If you want to just focus on winning on the drivers' so every time you have a new engine, everything new in and the manufacturer gets last but the driver wins. OK, [you could get] two [different] championships, two focuses, but that doesn't make racing any better."
Though some have suggested grid penalties unfairly penalise the driver or the team for failures outside their control -- for example, punishing McLaren and its drivers for the failings of Honda -- Steiner says everyone in F1 has to live with the rammifications of the choices made.
When it was put to him that it is not a customer team like Haas' fault if an engine or gearbox fails, Steiner replied: "Yeah, we did something wrong. We signed up with the wrong supplier. You live by your choices.
"If you make strategic decisions wrong, you are penalised as well. It sounds maybe funny but you live by your choices. If you go for certain reasons to a manufacturers because you like their price, or like this then you're responsible for it, it comes with it. If you are penalised it, for example the works team has no problems and you have all the problems then it starts to get iffy, but I don't think it's happening for the moment.
"We know the rules. Is it looking good or not? The penalties are given a reason because people are doing a bad job. It's not like they were penalised, they knew before and if they don't do a good job, or good enough, then that's what they get."