Haas F1, They started the 2016 F1 season on fire, scoring points and at one point Romain Grosjean was out scoring German Ace and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. Time went on and Hass has fallen back to a mid pack team just hoping to score points in a given race. Now they appear to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Their young Ferrari development driver Esteban Gutierrez is earning the ire of some of the top teams in F1. Mecedes boss Toto Wolff took particular exception to Gutierrez following the most recent race in Singapore.
“Felipe (Massa) immediately got out of the way,” Wolff told German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport. “But Esteban, who is a nice guy, just kept going and was happy that his gap to Felipe was increasing. I think Gutierrez always behaves like this when someone is trying to pass him. Every time, it’s always the same driver.”
Strong words, seems the young Mexican is not making many friends this season. Lewis Hamilton has now famously given Gutierrez his “you’re #1” salute. Simple fact of the matter is this, if you are clearly the slower car and the leader is behind you about to lap you, you let them pass. You’re not going to catch them and being in the way annoys the competition and it definitely annoys the fans. Apparently Esteban has yet to get this message.
“If Toto Wolff has something to say, he should tell me to my face. I find that disappointing. Basically, people can say what they want, but there are rules. And if the stewards don’t say anything, then I have done nothing wrong.”
Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner echoed his driver’s statements. “He was battling well against Massa … why should he get out of the way? He did so when he needed to, and I think he was pretty fair,” Steiner said. “I saw no problem with what he did, we received no penalty and the FIA did not complain. So, I think if they (Mercedes) have a problem, they need to ask the stewards.”
Both sides have a point. Gutierrez needs to get out of the freakin way. And Mercedes needs to sack up and talk to him or Haas face to face. This whining to the media stuff just reeks of false bravado. Either way the year of off track drama continues. Meanwhile Nico has retaken the top spot in the championship standings after winning the past 2 races. Next up, Malaysia October 2nd.