The Haas team had to get two sets of tires replaced after a fire overnight at the Russian Grand Prix, following a malfunction of its tire blankets.
The team was alerted to the fire by overnight security at the Sochi Autodrom, limiting the damage to two sets of Kevin Magnussen’s tires. After consultation with the FIA it was agreed that the two sets could be replaced by Pirelli, and nobody was hurt in the incident.
“A fire is always dangerous,” team principal Guenther Steiner said. “It was a blown a little bit out of proportion already. There was a shortcut on… we don’t know if it was the cable or the tire blanket, because everything is burned. So we will investigate.
“The good thing was the night guards was around and they caught it. I wouldn’t say early, but they caught it, but there could have been a lot more damage if they hadn’t caught it. All these night guard guys worked together to extinguish it and did a great job, so I want to thank them for that.
Steiner says the tire blankets were on standby overnight, with investigations set to take place back at the team’s factory while it focuses on the rest of the Russian Grand Prix weekend.
“Until we investigate what actually happened we won’t know. When this happens it is not our main focus now to investigate this — we put everything in a box and send it back to base and see what happens and that it doesn’t happen again. That’s the most important thing, that it doesn’t happen again, because it could have worked out a lot worse.”