The Australian Grand Prix is always one to bring us great stories and excitement. Last month's F1 Australian Grand Prix was no disappointment. However, it was quite a disappointment for the Haas team. Having a pit stop issue is brutal for a car; things can really go wrong. However, having two pit-stop failures, we are not really sure if that is excusable anymore.
But that is what happened to the American runners, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, who killing qualified through the opening stages running fourth and fifth respectively.
Then something went seriously wrong on the pit stops, turning this into an expensive nightmare to the Haas team.
The first one to box in was Magnussen, on lap 23. Right after exiting the stop, he could only make it through four more laps before having to pull up to the side of the road. He reported he was having a suspension failure. What he had felt as a suspension failure was actually a left tire that had not been fitted properly.
Replay of the pit stop event shows how the crew members on the left side frantically asked to not let the car leave, without success. That was the end of the race for Magnussen.
Then came the second disaster. Frenchman Romain Grosjean stopped for a safety check. As incredible as it might seem, the issue was very similar to that of his team partner. This time on the front left wheel.
The fiasco not only cost them their position in the race and the corresponding 22 championship points, but both racers were fined a total 10,000 euros for driving cars in unsafe conditions.
“Very tough one to swallow,” Magnussen said after the race. “For the whole team, with both cars not finishing, in such good positions, with so much anticipation coming up to this race and being in such a good position with both cars, it’s so heartbreaking to finish like that."