The Haas F1 Team suffered a disappointing Australian Grand Prix after such an encouraging start to the season during qualifying.
Team Principal Guenther Steiner is understandably disappointed with the result, but can at least go away knowing that the cars are competitive when they are without fault.
Romain Grosjean impressively achieved the team’s best ever qualifying result on Saturday, edging out Felipe Massa for sixth. The Brazilian did manage to get ahead at turn one as the field fought for position but Grosjean slotted into seventh and was lapping at a good pace, but after only 13 laps he was forced into retirement due to a water leak.
“Not the race we wished for, or we expected,” Steiner said. “With Romain it looks like we had a water leak. We don’t know yet where that came from.”
Kevin Magnussen on the other hand had an unfortunate bout of understeer during the braking phase into turn three on the first lap, which resulted in a shunt with Marcus Ericsson. The Danish driver was able to return to the track, and following a trip to the pits for a new front wing and fresh set of tyres, he was back racing, albeit at a great disadvantage.
But with only 11 laps remaining of the race’s 57 lap distance he was forced to retire due to a suspension issue. The team is currently investigating the cause, although it is thought to have resulted from his earlier collision.
“Obviously, Kevin’s race was destroyed in the third corner after the contact with Ericsson,” Stained added. “He then ended up later with a suspension failure, which we still have to investigate why.”
Magnussen may have qualified over ten places slower than his team-mate in seventeenth, caused by going wide at turn 12, but he too felt the potential that the car hinted at.
“The good thing we take out of here is that the car seems to be fast. We need to work on a few parts and, hopefully, we can get back strong again in China in two weeks.”