Haas boss Guenther Steiner has defended his team's strategic decisions during the German Grand Prix after losing further ground to Renault in the race for fourth in the constructors' championship.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had been running comfortably inside the top eight before the rain fell at the Hockenheimring. Haas opted to pit its drivers for intermediates but later switched backed to slicks -- a decision which proved costly as the team was forced to double-stack its drivers costing both drivers time and track position to Nico Hulkenberg and the Force Indias.
Grosjean recovered to sixth -- overtaking both Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez in the closing laps while Magnussen was unable to match his teammate and trailed home in 11th. Reflecting on the chaotic ending to the race in Germany, Steiner explained the reasons behind Haas' strategy and stands by the calls made.
"He [Magnussen] went off twice and Hulkenberg passed him and got ahead of him, and then we decided to bring him in to put intermediates on and it started from there,'' Steiner said. "It's always difficult to say if it was right or wrong, I think it was the right decision to take him in because it was too slippery out there because with our worn tyres we had on, the risk to go off somewhere like Vettel did were very high because they were very horn and both drivers said there was no chance to get the tyres up to temperature.
"You're in between and at the time you don't know how long the rain lasts. If you put new tyres on they cool down so quickly so they don't grip anymore so it's one of these situations where we were at that point we can just lose because we have to cover but we don't want to take any risk as if you take risk you can lose everything. I think we did some damage limitation overall with Romain finishing sixth, so it's not too bad, we got away with it not too bad but we need to exactly study if we could have done the two stops on a different lap, not double stop them. We need to look into it.''
Force India's double points haul in Germany means Haas now sits sixth in the constructors' championship. With it still appearing to have the fourth fastest package in Formula One, Steiner remains confident Haas can finish as F1's leading midfield team come the end of the season.
"If we continue to do what we are doing we are still in a very good position,'' Steiner added. ''Yes we lost two points but in the big picture, it's not a lot. I would rather have gained two points for obvious reasons but we lost them. These things happen but as I said before it's racing.
"As you said, when we were running on normal conditions actually Romain was getting closer to Nico and for us, it was going how it should be going and the sky opened up. Going forward I am pretty confident that we can put a good battle on for fourth, if we win it or not I don't know but for sure we are in a good position to do it.''