Haas boss Guenther Steiner says he understands Esteban Gutierrez’s angry comments after the opening day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
On Friday a frustrated Gutierrez complained the issues he has been suffering are masking his true performance and making him look “very bad” to the outside world. The Mexican driver had a limited day of track running at the Circuit de Catalunya after an electrical issue in the afternoon, where he finished down in 21st.
When asked about Gutierrez’s frustrations, Steiner said: “And I am as frustrated as him about that because he doesn’t come to [not] drive, it’s not like we don’t find his setup [on purpose]. If we cannot have him driving it doesn’t help us because I complained that we haven’t had enough driving, but if you cannot get both cars to drive then instead of eight hours of driving in total we have only four. We need to get these little gremlins out because when Esteban is out there he shows that he has got the pace, but he can never [get the opportunity to] put it down with something significant for everyone to see.”
Steiner agrees Gutierrez’s pace is very good when he is able to have a clean session.
“With Esteban I don’t think I need to say a lot that he is frustrated. I have to manage the situation and keep him upbeat and tell him ‘hey you are ok, when you are driving you are ok, we didn’t lose faith in you, we just need to fix so you can drive — there is not a problem with you so don’t worry.’ It’s part of my job to manage that.
“He is calm, he puts the time down when he needs because we know exactly what fuel he has got in, how to compare it, when he is out there its fine. It’s very comparable, he’s just not driving enough and he wants to do better. He knows what he can do but he wants to do better and the only thing he can do is to drive more to understand the car better, to drive. You can go faster with this car if you use it more, that’s the only thing that you need is sitting in the car and driving it to get better.”
Steiner hopes the team can find a remedy overnight but admits Gutierrez’s car seems to be plagued by issues.
“We are confident again but with him it’s not one thing, it’s one thing after the other! We are not trying hard to do this you know, we are trying hard to get it right so it’s frustrating and at the time I was frustrated with the team before because it’s enough now, it seems like wow, it’s always happening to him.
“It’s very odd and we need to give him the chance to drive. He’s young and he needs to make a mark in the sport. The car is good when it is out there, sure we cannot win races — we know that — but it will come. We just need to keep on pushing and get over our frustrations because personally as well after a session like this I’m not happy that we made progress with one car, I’m unhappy that the other car didn’t drive again. We need to get over that, keep it positive and keep on working hard and everybody is and try to sort these things out.”