Guenther Steiner has revealed that a cross-threaded wheel nut caused the issue during Kevin Magnussen’s second pit stop in last Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, although he does not believe the problem cost the team a top ten finish.
The Dane had run inside the top ten in the early laps at Intercity Istanbul Park but was on course for a finish around eleventh or twelfth, according to Steiner, the Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team.
A miscommunication between the mechanic on the wheel gun and the one on the rear jack meant Magnussen’s car was dropped too soon and released back onto the track, only for the Dane to immediately stop at the pit exit and be dragged back to the pit box to have the wheel attached correctly.
Stewards in Turkey investigated the team for a potential unsafe release but did not find any reason to penalise Haas, but by the time Magnussen had returned to the track, he was two laps down and out of contention for what would have been only his second top ten finish of 2020.
“We just said we need to cover [George] Russell because at the time it looked like we’d get a point, so we covered Russell and then the pit stop went wrong,” Steiner said to RaceFans.net. “The thread was crossed and the guy went for another gun because he couldn’t get it off with the [first] one, and the jack man thought it was OK.
“The guy didn’t give the go-ahead, but because the other guy went away to get the other gun, [the jack man] dropped the car and obviously Kevin went. So, it was a misunderstanding because the guy didn’t give the green but he thought the guy’s going away and then he dropped the car, and then once the car is down the driver goes.
“I looked at the data, I think the best we would have come out is about would be eleventh or twelfth. I looked at the graphs before because I wanted to know what is possible.
“It would have been difficult because nobody actually from the top drivers dropped out. The drop-outs were all in the back. So, I think that it would have been difficult. For sure not having that mistake the chances [would have been] bigger, obviously we know that, but I think it would have been on the edge.”