Haas has reshuffled its Formula 1 pitstop crew heading into this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix in the wake of the pitstop nightmare it suffered in Melbourne's 2018 season-opener. 

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had been running inside the top five in the early stages in Australia, before the American outfit was hampered by cross-threaded wheel nut issues during the pitstop window, which forced both drivers into retirement within minutes of one another. 

Team principal Guenther Steiner admitted Haas did not complete enough practice pitstops during the Australian Grand Prix and highlighted it as an area to prioritise. He explained changes have been made to the pitstop crew in the build up to this weekend’s race in Bahrain in order to boost confidence within the team.

“We swapped a few positions. The main reason is not that they did the mistake, but getting their confidence back,” Steiner said.

“If you keep on doing the same and the guy is not confident, the risk that you have a mistake again is high. You swap positions, you give them different jobs because you need so many people anyway. 

“That is what we did for this race, and that is what we are doing since yesterday's practicing. We try to do as much [practice] as possible until the race. There's a fine balance between doing too much because it's also physical. 

“If people are tired, there's no point to do it because then they are not focused and they just lose their confidence again. As soon as they get tired, you don't learn anything except you wear them out. 

"It's for the team manager to decide when that point is reached, but we are going back to do as much, like we did last year, which we didn't do in Australia.”

Steiner said Haas has introduced an additional crew member to help override the pit stop release system via radio when a problem occurs. 

“We put another guy in which can override it. If something happens, we've got the guy who is just doing that one on the radio. Once he gives green, he cannot go back and put it on red. They put it on and then release it and then it's done.

“The next thing is he puts his hands up. But then some other guy needs to override him. But we're talking about seconds here, three second stops. If you think about how quick it goes, it just didn't happen.

“I don't blame it on the guys,” he added. "If you think back now, the thing was clear that they should have done more practice instead of hoping that we can continue from where we left it last year.”


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