Haas Formula 1 chief Guenther Steiner says the team "got a little bit creative" in asking the FIA to show both of its cars the black flag during opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday as it tried to resolve a technical issue.

Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were both noted on race control's messaging system as having been shown a black flag in the opening stages of FP1, requiring them to return back to the pits immediately.

The unusual move was triggered by the team itself, which had lost all data and communication to the cars, and was unable to get them to box despite putting out a pit board.

"We had an issue with the IT equipment. "We had no data anymore, no radio, nothing," team principal Steiner explained.

"We couldn’t contact them and we couldn’t see what the car was doing. So they needed to come in quick.

"We put the pit board out, but they didn’t see it, so we came up with the idea to ask race control to give them the black flag so they come in. That’s what we did.

"Everybody got a bit too excited about it, but we got a little bit creative there, and asked for some help to get them focused to come in. They got in, we fixed the problem and then they got out for the last 20 minutes.

"If for more than five laps you don’t hear anyone on the radio in Monte Carlo, it’s like something must be wrong! We got lucky with the traffic because normally you get traffic here, and it’s like why does nobody tell me about the other cars, but we had no traffic.

"They just kept on going, so we needed to do something about it, but it all ended up good."

Grosjean and Magnussen both managed to get back out on-track later in FP1 and end the session inside the top 10. Magnussen took P7 in FP2, while Grosjean finished up 11th.

"We lost a bit of running in FP1 due to a telemetry problem, but got running again, and got all our low-fuel work done. That allowed me to get a good feeling for the car," Magnussen said.

"We missed out on a few high-fuel laps, but we got them in FP2, so it wasn’t too bad of a Thursday. Between us we also ran on all the tyre compounds today, so that’s good.

"The car feels good in low-fuel, so we’ll see what we can do for tyre management. It’s a tough track to overtake on, so it’s not the main priority, but of course we want to be fast in race runs. So far everything’s going okay, and hopefully Q3’s a possibility."

Grosjean added: "It’s been a good day. We didn’t really know what to expect coming here – obviously, last year here, it wasn’t our strongest race. I was open-minded to what we could get.

"I’m quite happy with the way the car was. We possibly didn’t quite choose the right set-up for FP2, but we tried something which was interesting. Now we can analyze all the data for Saturday. I think we should be in the mix for a good qualifying."



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