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Haas F1's Steiner feels Sainz overreacted with Gutierrez at Suzuka

Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner does not blame Carlos Sainz Jr for his collision with Esteban Gutierrez in the Japanese Grand Prix but he believes the Spaniard "overreacted"

Gutierrez was chasing Sainz as they approached the final chicane when the pair came together, with the Mexican spinning and suffering damage to his front wing.

Toro Rosso's race impossible - Sainz

Steiner said Gutierrez was not trying to overtake but rather get the car positioned to launch an attack on the upcoming straight.

"Esteban wasn't trying to overtake, he was trying to set him up," said Steiner.

"But Sainz overreacted thinking he wanted to overtake which would be a quite strange corner to overtake, especially as we are not this much faster.

"Esteban said he braked early and then closed the door. It's between the two of them to sort it out.

"I wouldn't blame Sainz, saying he did something stupid."

Gutierrez ended the race 20th with team-mate Romain Grosjean just missing out on a point in 11th behind Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who started 11th and 12th respectively.

Japanese GP driver ratings

Steiner conceded it was disappointing to finish 11th for the seventh time this season, having had both cars start in the top 10 for the first time.

"The encouraging thing is we know what the car can do and we're getting close," said Steiner.

"Finishing 11th seven times is not a great feeling but the good thing is we know we can do it.

"If you look at it, the five good teams are in front of us with both cars.

"We took the fight to the Williams, we just couldn't pull it off as they had an advantage in picking their strategy [with free choice of starting tyre because of being outside the top 10 on the grid].

"I'm not complaining, I'd rather be in Q3 and not having that option because it's always a risk.

"We were there, we were quicker than them, it's just very difficult to overtake, so it's bittersweet.

"Staying the same for us would be a good point but we're actually getting better."

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