Haas team principal Guenther Steiner confirmed that Romain Grosjean's retirement from the Australian Grand Prix was a result of yet more pit-stop woe in Melbourne. Grosjean was set for a likely points finish until a botched service would prove fatal to his race.
Grosjean was held in his pit box for several seconds with a delay in getting his front-left tyre fitted, retiring 15 laps later with the same wheel appearing to have come loose.
While not as calamitous as last year's double DNF for Haas with cross-threaded wheel nuts, Steiner confirmed that the Frenchman's troubled stop had ultimately put paid to his chances.
"On the pitstop you could see that there was an issue, He lost seven seconds and the race was gone there - even if he got to the end there wouldn't have been points," said Steiner.
"They got the wheel back on, so we didn't lose the wheel like last year. But after 15 laps it mechanically broke because we forced it on.
"The wheelnut broke. It was on, but when you take it off and put it on it gets damaged and then the thread breaks."
Grosjean reacted to a third DNF from a points position in three years in Melbourne by saying: "Maybe Australia just doesn't like me."
Steiner said of the Frenchman's response: "He was disappointed. I spoke with him about it, which is the right thing to do, and apologised because this should not happen.
"But he's in good spirits because the car is good. It's not his last chance to make points.
"That's what I said to the guys: let's not dwell too much on what and if and what could have happened and if this and that. Let's focus on how we fix this.
"Do we change people around? We'll come up with a solution. It happened. It's gone."
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