An MGU-K problem at the restart of the Brazilian Grand Prix cost Romain Grosjean the chance of a substantial haul of points, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.
Grosjean was running seventh ahead of Carlos Sainz and behind Pierre Gasly when the race restarted after the first safety car period on Lap 59, but immediately dropped back in the order. With another safety car following and Sainz eventually being classified third behind Gasly in second, Steiner says the issue robbed his team of a potentially landmark result.
“On the restart we had an MGU-K problem, so he couldn’t get going,” Steiner said. “Then Sainz pushed him off obviously as well and then you just go back. Once you are in the mix again, our car in the traffic isn’t good and we just lost all those positions. It was like back to square one once we are back there.
“It was only on that restart we had an MGU-K issue, and that is unbelievable to me. He had no power from the MGU-K, and then the next acceleration it was cutting out and then it was good again. Nobody knows what it is — we still don’t know because afterwards it worked again and at the beginning I was like, ‘There’s no problem,’ but when you see it on the onboard with Sainz (it’s clear), and then in the corner he pushed him off as well.”
With Haas having had a number of issues during the season and Daniel Ricciardo hitting Kevin Magnussen at Interlagos, Steiner admits he is starting to find it difficult to accept his team’s fortunes.
“We know that we struggle in the race; that’s not new. I think everybody did the best we can do, then it’s just like there always seems to be something happening to us when we least need it. Everybody else gets lucky and we got unlucky. Everybody else got lucky with what happened at the front and we could have been fighting with Sainz easily. We had a good day, then at the restart to lose four or five positions you are done — the tire cools down.
“We came in for new tires and then the next safety car comes out. It’s like there is a point where I hope the season is ending and the next one starts in a different way. You can say you don’t get unlucky, you make your own luck, but I start to believe there is something.”