Haas has changed the positions of some of its pit crew members ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix after both of its cars retired shortly after pit stops in Melbourne.
With Kevin Magnussen running in fourth place and Romain Grosjean fifth, both cars retired after suffering cross-threaded wheel nuts during their pit stops. Team principal Guenther Steiner says the problems were coincidental, but changes have been made to try and allow the team to regain confidence.
“Yes we swapped a few positions,” Steiner said. “The main reason is not that they did the mistake, but getting their confidence back. If you keep on doing the same and the guy is not confident, the risk that you have a mistake again is high.
“You swap positions, you give them different jobs because you need so many people anyway. That is what we did for this race, and that is what we are doing since yesterday’s practicing.”
With the team back together for the first time on Wednesday in Bahrain – allowing for practice to take place – Steiner says he has made it clear to Haas that he sees Australia’s issues as a team failure rather than the fault of individuals.
“We got them all together, and not only the guys who did the pit stop, also the guys who are responsible, the management, because it’s all part of the team, and just talked it through. You analyze it and then find a way to do it better for the next race.
“There’s no point to dwell on what happened. You cannot fix the past, but you need to look forward and say ‘guys, it happened, it shouldn’t have happened.’ I’m not proud of that, as a team I’m not proud of it. I’m not pointing fingers at one guy. You just need to explain to them ‘hey guys, we need to get this better, but as a team,’ and everyone went straight in to come up with ideas for how we can avoid situations like this going in to here.”
And Steiner also says a change in the pit stop procedure has been introduced to try and safeguard against a repeat failure.
“We put another guy in which can override [the car release]. If something happens, we’ve got the guy who is just doing that one on the radio.
“The guy in front overrides it and puts [the light] on red again. The guy which stands in front with the switch, he can override it. We put an additional person in that if it is [a problem] then at least we can stop the car and push it back and put it right.”