A broken wheel spacer led to the puncture which caused Kevin Magnussen to crash on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona.

Magnussen veered off the track and swapped ends before coming to rest against the barriers on the exit of Turn 8 shortly after the afternoon session got underway on the last day of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Dane was unscathed in the crash but Haas was forced to bring its test programme to a premature end as it worked to fix the problem with Magnussen’s VF20 machine.

“We had a problem with the wheel rim, with the spacer, that broke the rim and then we had a flat tyre,” Steiner explained.

"The spacer between the wheel and the hub was broken and the wheel ended up in bits and pieces and the air got out and the tyre went off and he went off. It’s a pretty simple failure, no issue.

"Obviously to fix the car took too long to do a few laps at the end so we decided to call it  day and pack in. But we could afford to do that because the rest of the week was going well.

"For sure you always want to drive more and for sure we miss the hours at the end, but I won’t be standing here and crying about the three hours of testing we missed,” he added. “All in all we had a good week.

“We have a lot of data crunching going on over the next few days and then come here again and try some more stuff and try to get even quicker.”

Steiner is confident Haas has a better understanding of its VF20 car after the performance-related struggles that plagued its 2019 campaign. 

“Absolutely we have a better understanding,” Steiner said.

“We worked good with what we understand to make it better and then will see compared to the other ones how good it is.

“I wouldn’t commit here to say it because I don’t know as everyone runs different programmes.”

Asked if he is concerned by Haas’ apparent lack of pace during the first test, Steiner replied: “No. I don’t know about that because I don’t know what the other ones are doing.

“We went through our test programme, we decided to do what we wanted to do and not to look at other ones because there is no pole position or points up for grabs in testing.

“We just went through our test programmes and are pretty happy with what we achieved.”

 

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