Guenther Steiner beleives Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was trying to "show who was in command" when the Austrian team principal got on the radio to complain to the FIA race director Michael Masi about Nikita Mazepin.
On lap 28 of the Spanish Grand Prix Wolff's radio message to Masi was broadcast to the world, with the Austrian saying, "Michael, blue flags, blue flags! Michael, this guy makes us lose the position," in response to Hamilton trying to lap the Russian driver. Steiner though thinks it was an overreaction based on where both drivers were on the circuit.
"I think Nikita did a good job to get out of it," Steiner told RacingNews365.com among others.
"Maybe Toto being Toto just wanted to make sure that he showed who is in command here and that everybody should move when he is coming along. He didn’t let his guys do that work. He wanted a bit of publicity I guess."
The Haas boss proceeded to offer some insight into the race weekend as a whole, trying to find positives in what is proving to be a very difficult season for both the team and its drivers.
"We finished with both cars, no damage, everything was good so for sure we did some laps, they did some learning again and at the start both guys did a good job," Steiner continued.
"Mick, I think he made up four or five positions straight away and Nikita made up, I think, two but then realised there was no point in being aggressive and damaging the car. He wanted to race to the end just to get the laps in.
"So obviously, we couldn’t fight with the Williams. We were overtaken clearly on the straights so we couldn’t do a lot.
"But all in all, we got our laps done so on that side we are happy but when you beat somebody in qualifying and then in the race you fall back, you cannot be happy."