Following the double disappointment of pit stop troubles for Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean during the Australian Grand Prix, the Haas F1 Team is set to embark on some additional pit stop training ahead of the second round of the season in Bahrain in two weeks time.
Both drivers suffered almost identical issues, with Magnussen’s left rear tyre failing to sit properly on wheelrim, while Grosjean’s left front tyre was the culprit as the Frenchman followed his team-mate out of the race.
Team principal Guenther Steiner says they came into race day with limited practice time of pit stops due to other issues that required the attention of the mechanics throughout the weekend, and that could partly be responsible for the issues that arose.
“This weekend was very tense for us – we had some issues in FP1, FP2, we didn’t have a lot of spares, so we didn’t do a lot of pit stop practice, and that could be one of the reasons,” said Steiner to TV crews in Australia.
“It was just a bad pit stop. The wheelnut got on wrong and it was cross-threaded. We couldn’t catch it early enough. You work in a 2.5s window to do this and we were very unlucky. We had on the wheelgun the same guys as last year, which never missed it, so it is one of these things.
“We need to work harder on it – more practice. When we get to Bahrain start as quick as possible practice there and the guys can boost their confidence.”
Steiner feels it is important for the mechanics to not lose confidence going forward, and he says the pace shown during the weekend in Australia means they can go into the Bahrain Grand Prix in two weeks time with some confidence.
“They need to keep the confidence,” insisted Steiner. “This is a freak incident. We need to keep our heads up. We know we have a good year in front of us, we need just to analyse what happened and how can we make it that it doesn’t happen again.
“It is unbelievable – the same problem at two stops, one on the front wheel, one on the rear wheel, but it happened, it’s real.
“A very disappointing end to the day for us, but the pace was good, the car was running strong – that’s the thing that keeps the spirits up. We go to Bahrain with our heads high and try just to minimise these mistakes on the pit stops.”