Approaching the end of its third season in F1, Haas is looking increasingly likely to secure fifth in the team standings.
But for a number of factors, including loose wheels and driver errors, the team might have been challenging for fourth, a remarkable achievement for such a young team.
However, the French team subsequently protested the floor on the Frenchman’s car, and only last week the FIA’s Court of Appeal upheld the decision which saw the Haas driver disqualified from the event.
Thirty points adrift of the Enstone-based outfit, Steiner admitted to being surprised that the gap wasn’t bigger considering the French manufacturer’s long history in the sport and its resources.
“No,” said the Italian, when asked if Grosjean’s disqualification had tainted the season for his team. “We are in our third season, we are fifth, we are fighting with Renault, which they should be a lot better anyway.
“I think it shows how desperate they are,” he continued, “because they are a works team, they have five times as many people as us, and they are fighting with us. It’s actually for us an honour. What can you say? I would ask them how they feel about it.
“It’s all part of it,” he insisted. “We all know that F1 is a very difficult place to race. It’s not everything about racing. I think our team is doing a good job, and that is why we’re fighting for fourth. As you say, it’s very difficult now at this moment in time, but maybe miracles happen.”
In terms of the disqualification, Steiner admits the team has learned a valuable lesson.
“Next time we will make sure that what we do stands up in front of everything,” he said. “We move on. We’re not dwelling on it. It’s done and dusted and we go racing again.”
Nonetheless, he isn’t entirely happy with the manner in which the FIA dealt with the situation of the floor.
“You always ask for complete clarity because if you always had complete clarity, our thing wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “It’s never good enough, nothing is good enough in my opinion. I wouldn’t say; ‘you’re fantastic, FIA’ but I think they try to do a decent job.”