Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has conceded defeat to Renault in the pair’s battle for ‘best of the rest’ in the F1 Constructors’ standings.
The US outfit was snapping at the heels of its rival before the US and Mexican Grand Prix, but a proper bag of points collected by Renault in both races coupled with Haas’ failure to score has left the team with a 24-point gap before the ultimate round of 2018 in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s too late now,” admitted Steiner, who was asked if missing out on P4 was frustrating.
“It is somehow, but on the other side, don’t forget that we are only in our third year and it’s still quite a big achievement to beat other people.
“In theory we should have beaten Renault without some mistakes from us, without their protest.
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“You know, some fights you win, some you lose.
“But in the end, for the whole team, it’s still a good result to finish fifth — which we should now unless something magical happens in Abu Dhabi.
“We can be happy with that,” he added.
Haas was deprived of a solid haul of points in the opening race of the season in Melbourne, following a double-pitstop blunder.
But the team also wasted a few good opportunities later in the year because of crashes or mishap, not to mention Romain Grosjean disqualification from the Italian Grand Prix.
“It’s always frustrating a little bit because you always think you can do better — but that’s racing. You always want to do better than you actually do,” said the Italian team manager.
“I think we had a very strong run into the mid-season break.
“After the mid-season break we didn’t have a few strong races, then we had the protest, Mexico was a very bad race… So I don’t think it was lost because of any of those reasons.
“I think if you say fourth place was lost in Australia more than anywhere else — 22 points, plus the points that Renault scored, we would be fourth now.
“But if and when doesn’t count. We are grown-ups; we can live with that, we can still be proud.”
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