BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is holding the threat of team orders over his drivers after repeated on-track clashes between Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean this season.
For the second race in a row -- and the third time this season -- the Haas drivers banged wheels while fighting for position at last weekend's German Grand Prix. The incident, which saw Magnussen take a position from Grosjean by diving down the inside at the hairpin, came after repeated warnings from Steiner to keep the racing clean in recent races -- a message that became even stronger after a collision in Silverstone two races ago resulted in a double retirement.
Ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Steiner says Haas may start imposing team orders to take the racing out of the drivers' hands.
"Maybe it ends up that we tell them what to do -- decide who is doing what when they are close to each other," Steiner said on Thursday. "Not otherwise, but when they're close to each other on track.
"I don't really care what they are doing. Well, I care. I care what they are doing, but when they are close to each other, I think we need to take it out of their control who is doing what."
Asked if he would be firmer with them, Steiner added: "I think I have to. It's the only solution, to be firm with them and tell them what to do, and when they get close to each other, go from there.
"If I go in like Silverstone and get the same type of upset with them, that's not constructive. I need to come up with something better that we get proper control of it and move forward from there, because it is not acceptable towards the team because the team is again suffering from if you keep on doing this, and that is what will happen."
There was speculation in recent weeks that one of the drivers could be replaced midseason, potentially by Mercedes reserve driver Esteban Ocon, but Steiner said that was very much a last resort.
"At the moment, I'm not thinking about that. It's part of it. That doesn't make a lot of sense, because then you'll get just more questions than answers. You end up disrupting a lot of things. So that would be a desperate move almost, if I have to do that one."