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Haas keeping its head up, but team set for intensive pitstop drills


Haas crews will be training hard before Bahrain to improve their pitstop work following the team's catastrophic pair of fumbles in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were sitting pretty inside the top six when they undertook their respective mid-race tyre changes.

Incredibly, both were unsafely released with a wheel not having been properly tightened, a mishap which also resulted in a hefty $10,000 fine for the US outfit.

Team boss Guenther Steiner put the costly blunder on a lack of preparation, something Haas will intensely focus on before F1's next championship round in Bahrain.

"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 pitstop practice, and that could be one of the reasons," Steiner told the media on Sunday.

"It was just a bad pitstop. 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 labeled the mistake a "freak incident" but insisted Haas should take solace in the fact that the Melbourne weekend clearly validated the quality and speed of the team's new VF-18 chassis.

"This is a freak incident. We need to keep our heads up," he said.

"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," Steiner added.

"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 pitstops."

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