Guenther Steiner denies ‘everything is sorted’ as he lashes out at FIA

Haas found themselves in the middle of shambolic FIA decision making at the US Grand Prix in Austin.

The black and orange flag is one that is not seen particularly often in Formula 1, as it is used to signal an unsafe car to return to the pit lane for repairs.

Haas were stunningly shown this flag three times in 2022 however, with minor damage to the front wing of Kevin Magnussen leaving race control to deem the car unsafe on multiple occasions.

Much to Haas’ frustration, the race directors decided against showing Fernando Alonso the black and orange flag in Austin, despite the fact that his car had been launched in into the air and against the wall following a collision with Lance Stroll.

Following the race, Haas launched an appeal against race control’s decision to allow Alonso to stay out on track with a heavily damaged car, despite making them pit for repairs for much less earlier in the year.

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Niel Wittich was the race director in charge of this Grand Prix and it is this incident that reportedly cost him his job, as he slapped Fernando Alonso with a 30-second penalty after considering Haas’ protest, only to revoke it days later after it was revealed that he accidently told the team that they had an hour after the race to file a complaint, when they in fact only had 30 minutes.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has now called for the FIA to improve their decision making, with the 57-year-old believing his team were “affected badly” by some black and orange flag calls last year.

“This is not how it should be,” he told

“We got penalised, and then they changed the rules. Nobody else ever got penalised, and the rule was changed.

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“There is still a lot of work to be done, in my opinion. It’s not like everything is sorted now. I think in race control, there is a lot of margin to do better.

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“We saw in the last races [of 2022] there were some decisions taken which I think need to be addressed.”

Both Eduardo Frietas and Niels Wittich will be replaced this year after FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem confirmed that there will be two different race directors appointed for the upcoming season.

The pair had only been in the role for a single season, after Ben Sulayem decided to split the role following the sacking of Michal Masi at the end of 2021.