Esteban Gutierrez is becoming Formula 1's punching ball - Haas

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner feels Esteban Gutierrez has become "a bit of a punching ball" in Formula 1 following the latest criticism from Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff

Esteban Gutierrez is becoming Formula 1's punching ball - Haas

Gutierrez has regularly been in the firing line over track manners this season - receiving an abusive gesture from Lewis Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix, criticism from Daniel Ricciardo in Germany and a penalty for blocking Pascal Wehrlein in Belgian GP practice.

After the Singapore GP, a disparaging Wolff felt Gutierrez was again at fault when Nico Rosberg and pursuer Daniel Ricciardo came up to lap him during their late victory battle.

"We ran into a little bit of a traffic situation with Gutierrez and Felipe [Massa] who were fighting for position," said Wolff.

"Gutierrez at least makes it the same for everybody - he doesn't let anybody overtake.

"Honestly, I need to say there is a fight for the race win going on between two guys fighting for every tenth, and then you have one guy cruising around and interfering in the race, and it happens to always be the same guy.

"We were shouting to Charlie [Whiting]. Felipe went out of the way and Esteban, who is a lovely boy, continued to cruise out there and was enjoying the gap he had made to Felipe."

Steiner launched a strong defence of his driver, dismissing Wolff's criticism as "a Toto comment" and arguing it had become fashionable to attack Gutierrez

"He is a bit of a punching ball at the moment," said Steiner.

"But I think he was pretty good, very fair. He was racing Massa so why should he get out of the way? You get out of the way when you need to.

"I don't see a problem with what he did. It's easy to say, when you're so dominating as Mercedes is."

Suggested to Steiner it had become 'open season' on Gutierrez, he replied: "Correct.

"It all started with Lewis giving him the finger, which I don't think is the correct gesture of a Mercedes driver, and we had the other time with Ricciardo.

"We had the incident with Wehrlein, but we know where the fault was and we apologised. That was a completely different story.

"There was a clear mistake made and we got the penalty for it - over-penalised because that was not his fault. The engineer missed the car was coming. We all make mistakes.

"In this case they didn't have to call us twice, we got out of the way. We got out of the way as quick as Massa.

"They have their opinion, we have our opinion, we didn't get a fine, the FIA didn't complain.

"If he [Wolff] has a problem, he needs to see the stewards."

shares
comments
FIA wouldn't let Red Bull fix Max Verstappen's clutch in Singapore

Previous article

FIA wouldn't let Red Bull fix Max Verstappen's clutch in Singapore

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo's tyres 'ran out of steam' in Singapore GP chase

Daniel Ricciardo's tyres 'ran out of steam' in Singapore GP chase
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021