Haas was left managing Romain Grosjean’s Formula 1 car without any access to his tyre telemetry after a fire on his car on the opening lap of the Japanese Grand Prix burned through some wires.

Pierre Gasly reported early in the race he could see a fire on Grosjean’s car, but the issue did not prevent the Haas driver from finishing eighth at Suzuka.

Grosjean was passed late in the race by Force India driver Sergio Perez, and was heard over team radio after the chequered flag talking about the lack of data he had during the race.



Haas team boss Günther Steiner revealed that Grosjean had been driving without tyre telemetry for almost all of Sunday’s race as a result of the fire, as well as managing a suspension problem late in the race.

“He had an issue on his car, and was saying he could not go straight and had a problem on the rear suspension and they just showed me how much it was moving,” Steiner said.

“In the beginning we had no telemetry of tyre temperatures. We had a fire because some oil came out and it burnt the wires down, so we had no data on tyre temperature, tyre pressure and a lot of things missing.

“So when he said on the straights the car is pulling, we thought that maybe he had picked up a puncture from the debris from [Kevin] Magnussen. But we didn’t, so we continued.

“But for the whole race it was not easy to steer and locked a lot easier for us. There was an issue on his car with the telemetry and we didn’t know the tyre temperature and we all know how important that is.”

Grosjean was left frustrated after losing a place to Perez on Lap 41 following a Virtual Safety Car period in which the Force India driver managed to close the gap.

“We need to analyse what happened with the Virtual Safety Car restart. I was right on my delta time and Perez, when the gap was 2.4 seconds before, overtook me straight away,” Grosjean said.

“We need to check and see if there is not a problem in the system there. I thought I had done the job on my side.”

However, Steiner said he did not think there was anything untoward about Perez’s pace under VSC.

“It is very difficult to know what’s on the track in front of you, but there was nothing wrong with what Perez did. He was just on the case, and sometimes in VSC you can be in a better position or worse by the regulation mini sectors,” Steiner said.

“He was good there, had the tyres and the better traction and out of the chicane overtook him.”


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