Guenther Steiner ’embarrassed’ at 2023 Qatar GP

Haas F1 Team Boss Guenther Steiner hasn't held back at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, making his feelings known.

Guenther Steiner, the team principal of Haas, has expressed his disappointment and embarrassment over the unexpected tyre problems that have led to revisions in the weekend’s Formula 1 schedule at the Losail International Circuit. 

The issues have raised concerns about the safety of the upcoming races.

The FIA’s announcement on Saturday revealed that tyre problems had emerged following a single hour of practice held the day before. 

To address the situation, new track limits rules have been enforced to discourage drivers from running on kerbs at two particular corners, which are believed to have contributed to the tyre issues. 

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The start of the sprint race qualifying session has been delayed to provide drivers with an extra 10 minutes of practice to adapt to the new rules.

Additional changes are being considered for the upcoming grand prix, including the possibility of mandating a minimum of three pit stops for all drivers and implementing a maximum stint length of 20 laps.

Gunther Steiner expressed his frustration at the unfolding situation, calling it a “concerning thing for the future.” 

He stated, “It shouldn’t happen. 

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“This should not happen in Formula 1. 

“But it has, and now we need to see how we get out of it. 

“I think the good thing with this coming out, there are solutions for this race weekend, but going forward, this shouldn’t happen again.”

“In the end, it is embarrassing because this is not where we should be,” Steiner added, highlighting the unexpected nature of the issue.

This weekend’s event marks Formula 1’s second visit to the Losail International Circuit, with its previous race taking place in 2021. 

During that race, several drivers experienced tyre failures attributed to the circuit’s kerbs. 

In response, the track underwent extensive refurbishments, and new kerbs were installed to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Gunther Steiner acknowledged the efforts made to address the issue, saying, “There were some signs already here two years ago, we had issues but they were different kerbs. 

“I think they were supposed to develop some kerbs which don’t damage the tyres, but apparently the kerbs we have developed they damage the tyres.”

While the white line defining the track’s edge is being repositioned at turns 12 and 13 to keep drivers away from the problematic kerbs, concerns persist that other sections of the high-speed circuit may still pose risks to the tyres. 

Steiner emphasised the need for proactive measures to ensure safety.

“At least they are proactively doing something for tomorrow and now going out changing some of the track limits that we are not going over these kerbs should help a little bit,” Steiner commented. 

“But I don’t know if that sorts the problem because it wasn’t clear to me.”

He continued, “They are doing three corners; the track limits will be changed so we don’t go on the kerbs. 

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“But I don’t know if it is only those kerbs or other ones as well. 

“I think they don’t know as much as they would like to know; otherwise, it wouldn’t have ended up in this place. 

“So I think that for safety reasons, for sure, if they see any risk of having flat tyres, they will have a maximum running of the tyres of 20 laps is my understanding tomorrow for the proper race.”