The Haas Formula 1 team has received a €10,000 fine for the unsafe releases that led to the team’s double Australian Grand Prix retirement and left drivers Romian Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen “heartbroken.”

Magnussen and Grosjean followed up on their impressive qualifying performance to run fourth and fifth in the early stages in Melbourne, before both cars retired within minutes of one another in similar incidents, having ground to a halt on their respective out-laps following the pitstop window. 

The issues appeared to have been caused by wheels not being correctly fitted onto Magnussen and Grosjean’s cars, with television footage showing mechanics expressing concern in the garage as each car left the pitlane.

The stewards decided both cars were “released in an unsafe condition” and imposed two separate €5000 fines for each incident.

“A very tough one to swallow for the whole team with both cars not finishing in such good positions with so much anticipation coming up this race,” said Magnussen, who had been keeping Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at bay after passing him with a bold move at the start. 

“Being in such a good position with both cars, it’s just so heartbreaking to finish like that. We will get on top again and we will fight back and do it all again.”

Grosjean was promoted to fifth when Verstappen spun in his efforts to reclaim position from Magnussen and had successfully managed to fend off Daniel Ricciardo leading up to the pitstops. 

“Today I had a great pace. I am sure I could have stayed a bit more with the front runner if I had been in front of Kevin earlier in the race,” the Frenchman said. “We will analyse everything, understand what happened exactly, come back stronger as we always do.

“Right now everyone is down and we need to analyse everything to make sure if it’s a problem with the guns, or a problem with the mechanics. We didn’t have any problems in winter testing so it’s a bit strange. 

“It’s a lot of points lost today, but if we can repeat that performance over and over, we are going to forget that one very quickly.”

 

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