Feb.22 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Haas got a rude welcome to formula one as testing began on Monday.
On the unlucky 13th lap of the American team’s new F1 adventure, the front nose of the car driven by Romain Grosjean catastrophically failed at 320kph.
“Suddenly the front of the car went up in the air,” the Frenchman is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
The incident was also seen first-hand by Grosjean’s teammate Esteban Gutierrez, who was watching the action from the first corner.
But team boss Gunther Steiner played it down.
“New parts for the wing attachment are already on the way,” he said. “Tomorrow we go back to normal.”
Reportedly, the new car is otherwise on the pace of the midfield, and Steiner is happy.
“Everything was fine,” he said. “The temperatures, the suspension setup, the pressures…”
Many eyes were also on the performance of McLaren-Honda’s new car on Monday, after the collaboration’s disastrous showing in 2015.
There are still rumours that only a massive improvement will be enough to keep Fernando Alonso at the team, but Jenson Button was almost three seconds off Sebastian Vettel’s pace on Monday.
Team boss Eric Boullier told the Guardian: “Fernando’s ok. He’s happy. He has our numbers.
“Ok, 35 laps is not the best but it is better than last year.”