Guenther Steiner’s frustration and disappointment was evident across his face on the pit wall when he watched both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean retire in short order during the Australian Grand Prix whilst running fourth and fifth.
The Haas F1 Team was having their best weekend in their short Formula 1 history around the Albert Park circuit, with the duo having shared the third row of the grid and having run behind the eventual podium trio during the race, only for disaster to strike when making their pit stops.
Both drivers were released without all four wheels attached properly, with Magnussen the first to suffer on lap twenty-two, and Grosjean two laps later, with both drivers being forced into retirement as a result; the team were also handed a €10,000 fine by the FIA stewards for releasing the cars ‘in an unsafe condition’.
“It was a disappointing end to a very promising weekend,” said team principal Steiner. “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.”
At least Steiner insists the team can take positives away from Australia despite the loss of a big haul of points, with the VF-18 showing itself as competitive in the hands of both drivers throughout the weekend.
“The good thing we can take away from this is that the car is competitive,” said Steiner. “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.”