Steiner reveals cause of Magnussen’s test-ending shunt

A broken wheel spacer triggered a crash for Haas Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen in Barcelona today – but despite losing valuable track time team boss Gunther Steiner insists that it was a good first week for the US-owned team.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-20 crashes and causes a red flag
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Friday’s running was interrupted initially when Romain Grosjean suffered a water leak. In the afternoon session Magnussen speared off the track after the right rear wheel spacer failed, damaged the rim, and caused the air to leak out of the tyre.

The Dane spun and just clipped the tyre wall, but while damage was relatively minor the team decided not to rush repairs just to get him out at the end of the session, and thus missed the last three hours.

“This morning we had a small problem and we were stuck maybe half an hour,” said Steiner. “We had a water pipe which was leaking. And then this afternoon we had a problem with a wheel rim, with the spacer, and when we went out it broke the rim and then we had a flat tyre. And then obviously to fix the car took too long for the few laps you can do at the end, so we decided to call it a day.

“The spacer between the wheel and the hub was broken, and then the wheel machined itself in bits and pieces, the air got out and the tyre went off and he went off. So that was what it was. Now when you look at it, it's a pretty simple failure, but it shouldn't happen.

“I think we didn't have any mechanical issues or anything. And the car was very reliable until that happened, and it's easy to fix.”

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Steiner said that stopping early and missing mileage was not a big concern, despite this year’s limited testing schedule.

He added: “We could do that because the rest of the week was going well. You know the first two days were very good, so for sure you always want to drive more, and for sure we will miss the three hours in the end, and I will be standing here and crying about three hours of testing that we missed.

“But all-in-all, we had a good week, and we now need to go and look at the data. A lot of data crunching going on the next days, and then come back here and try some other stuff can try to get even quicker.”

 
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