The Haas F1 Team left the season opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park extremely disappointed.
The US based outfit had a fantastic qualifying on Saturday with Kevin Magnussen starting the race from fifth place while Romain Grosjean started the event from sixth place, giving the team their best combined qualifying since entering Formula One in 2016.
The team were left distraught after both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean retired from the 58 lap race early. Magnussen pitted on lap 22 and when he headed down pit-road following his stop a message came through on the radio:
Stop the car! Stop the car immediately!
Speaking following the race, the Dane who was forced to retire due to a problem with his from left tyre he commented by saying:
It’s a very tough one to swallow for the whole team. To have both cars not finishing – having been in such good positions and with so much anticipation – it’s just heartbreaking to finish like that. We’ll get on top again. We’ll fight back. I’m beyond disappointed right now, but we’ll get over it.
Romain Grosjean made his pit-stop two laps after Magnussen and had exactly the same tyre issue however, the Frenchman’s problem was on his left rear and speaking following the race, Grosjean who also retired from the race commented by saying:
We had a good car all weekend. I was happy with our low- and high-fuel pace. I had great pace today, and I’m sure I could have stayed a bit more with the frontrunners if I’d been in front of Kevin early in the race. We’ll now analyze everything and work out what happened exactly. We’ll come back stronger as we always do. It’s a lot of points lost today, but if we can repeat that performance over and over, we’re going to forget this very quickly.
Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner blamed the problems on the lack of pit-stop practice over the course of the Australian Grand Prix weekend and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was a disappointing end to a very promising weekend. We had two failures on the pit stops – didn’t tie the wheels on correctly, so we had to stop the cars. As much as you don’t want to say it, it’s racing. It happens, even though it shouldn’t. It’s almost unbelievable to have this in one race, and on two cars, while running fourth and fifth. It’s very disappointing. The good thing we can take away from this is that the car is competitive. We just need to get our heads up again, to get well prepared for Bahrain. We’ll focus on that one and get our pit stops sorted out.