Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed unrelated but identical pit stop errors caused both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean to retire from the Australian Grand Prix.
Magnussen was running in fourth place when he made his planned pit stop, but he was forced to stop at Turn 4 after the left rear tire was not properly fitted. Grosjean came in a lap later, but a problem with the front left saw him have to retire at Turn 2. Steiner says both were separate incidents of human error.
“It’s just the wheel wasn’t on correctly and then it was cross-threaded, both times,” Steiner told RACER. “It was just really bad luck. We didn’t do enough practice, that’s what we think. We could have avoided it if we did more practice but we basically didn’t have the chance to do it.
“You have some trouble [in practice] but when you do 100 stops then you get it. But to have it in a race twice the focus in a race is much higher than when you do practice. It is unlucky but I think what we need to do is more practice.
“It’s just human error … [the gunman] was convinced it was good each time and it wasn’t.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 25, 2018
With the two pit stops taking place a lap apart and all the wheel guns and nuts being the same as last season, Steiner says there was no reason to try and make a change to its procedures.
“What do you want to change? If we do it one thousand times, there’s no point that time to say we’ll do it differently because then you make a mess out of it. Therefore it is so unbelievable that it happens [twice]. If it happens twice on the left rear then there is something wrong, but when it happens once on the left rear and then on the left front is unbelievable.”
After bering summoned to see the stewards, the team was fined €5000 (about $6,200) for each incident.