“It happened on the in-lap!” Steiner said to The Times about Schumacher’s Japan incident.
“Sure it was very wet out there on the track, but nobody else managed to write off a car while they were driving back to the pits.
“We lose a car after five minutes and now have to build another.”
With damage repairs being deducted from the yearly cost cap allowance, a third hefty shunt of the campaign undid the promising progress Schumacher had been making to that point.
With Haas being only one of a few sides not operating at the peak potential of the budget cap last year, sustaining expensive crashes mattered significantly more to an American outfit that had already been running low on replacement parts throughout the season.
The Netflix hit documentary series Drive to Survive revealed earlier this year that Schumacher had already been on the brink of losing his seat after his Monaco crash.
Steiner’s latest comments, meanwhile, suggest that the episode in Japan provided the final nail in Schumacher’s slim chances of retaining his drive.
“I cannot have a driver who I am not confident can take a car around safely on a slow lap. It’s just ridiculous,” he exclaimed further.
“How many people could we employ with $700,000? And I have to now find that money.”
Schumacher was eventually dropped at the conclusion of the year in favour of his German compatriot Nico Hulkenberg for 2023.
The former Renault driver has immediately been on the pace, out-qualifying Kevin Magnussen at all three rounds and starting inside the top 10 for every race.
Although points evaded him in the first two events, Hulkenberg delivered a superb drive in a thoroughly chaotic Australian Grand Prix to deliver a seventh place for Haas.
The experienced German’s standout result since his F1 comeback has promoted Haas above three sides into seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.
Even before Hulkenberg’s return to point-scoring ways, his new team boss had been highly enthused about the positive difference his latest recruit’s arrival had made to the Haas side.
Schumacher, on the other hand, was unable to secure a seat at a rival outfit for a place on the 2023 grid and was picked up by Mercedes to serve as the team’s reserve driver for the year.
But the 2020 Formula 2 champion has stated he has already made contact with several interested parties about a potential full-time return for next year.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has disclosed he would not stand in the way of Schumacher if the opportunity to mark a comeback materialised.