Errant wheelnut means deja vu misery for Grosjean

17/03/2019
NEWS STORY

It may take a year before Netflix reveals the true behind the scenes fireworks that followed Romain Grosjean's retirement from the Australian Grand Prix today, but even those with little or no imagination can take a pretty good guess.

Just twelve months after both Haas drivers fell victim to loose wheels that ended their chances of a decent points haul, it was deja vu all over again for Frenchman Romain Grosjean as he pulled to the side of the track today while running seventh, his left-front about to part company with his car.

"On the pitstop you could see that there was an issue," admitted team boss Guenther Steiner. "He lost seven seconds and the race was gone... even if he got to the end there wouldn't have been points.

"They got the wheel back on, so we didn't lose the wheel like last year," he added. "But after 15 laps it mechanically broke because we forced it on."

With last year's double failure in mind, the team has revealed that over the winter it practised pit stops to the point that some fear they might have overdone it.

"No, no, no, it's difficult to define if you over-practice," said Steiner. "We know not practicing doesn't work.

"I think we did very good preparation this year," he continued. "I'm not a big believer in being unlucky, you make your own luck. If you think about last year, after Australia there were no issues and then we come back to Australia and there's an issue again. What can you say? I don't think it's about practicing. We did the right job and it just happened."

Asked about Grosjean, who was forced to watch from the sidelines as his teammate cruised to sixth, Steiner admitted: "He was disappointed.

"I spoke with him about it, which is the right thing to do, and apologised because this should not happen. But he's in good spirits because the car is good. It's not his last chance to make points.

"That's what I said to the guys," he continued, "let's not dwell too much on what and if and what could have happened and if this and that. Let's focus on how we fix this. Do we change people around? We'll come up with a solution. It happened. It's gone.

"In general there are more positives than negatives," he added, referring to the promise shown by Magnussen's race and the team's performance in qualifying, "therefore you don't see me in tears or down."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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Published: 17/03/2019
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