Haas boss Guenther Steiner is sure his team can prevent a repeat of the pit-stop mistakes which ruined its Australian Grand Prix and push for a good haul of points in Bahrain.
Haas’ chances of scoring its best-ever Formula One result at the Australian Grand Prix were spoilt by two separate human errors, according to team boss Guenther Steiner.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were running fourth and fifth at the opening race of the year before back-to-back pit-stop errors saw them return to the track with an incorrectly fitted tyre. The team blamed two separate human errors for the double retirement, something caused by a lack of pit-stop practice over winter testing.
The issue cost Haas a shot at its best-ever result since joining the grid in 2016. Steiner is refusing to make excuses and is confident the pit crew will quickly get back to the level it was operating at last season.
“You just have to explain what happened and be honest about it,” Steiner said. “We made mistakes, but we do have processes in place. Last year, in the second half of the season, we had some of the best pit stops on pit lane. We can do it. I think the lack of practice produced the result in Australia. Nevertheless, stuff like this happens. You get over it and move on.
“For sure, it’s difficult, but that’s racing. I’ve been doing this a long time. There are moments like this, with real downs. The good thing is the car seems to be quick, so you look forward to going to the next race and making sure you do a better job. We still have to go and do it in Bahrain, but I think we’re in a good position do something similar like we did in Australia performance-wise.”
Haas will focus on practicing its pit-stop procedures before the Bahrain race on April 8.
“As a team, we made mistakes. We had too much work to do on the car and didn’t practice enough. I think the key to all of this is to get the practice in before the race so that we’re prepared for all aspects of the race.
“It’s all down to people. Everybody on the team can be proud of what we’ve achieved over the last couple of years, and with what we’re going to achieve this year and next year. We have a good bunch of people who have put us in this position where we look very competitive this year.”
Grosjean, who was seen consoling distraught members of the Haas pit crew on the F1 world feed shortly after his retirement, believes the American team must stay focused on the positives.
“Well, put it this way — I’d rather retire fighting for fourth or fifth position than finishing every race in 15th position. It’s a team sport, and I believe my team has always been there for me when I needed them.
“Everything is pushed to its maximum — the driving, the engineering and the pit stops. Mistakes can happen. We’re a team, and I was happy to be there for my boys, as I know they’re happy to be there for me when I need them to be.”