Haas’ reliability woes took a turn for the worse at the British Grand Prix, where Kevin Magnussen’s weekend was ruined by technical trouble.Nico Hulkenberg suffered a breakdown during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix three weeks earlier.
More trouble struck in Austria. Hulkenberg had qualified eighth for the grand prix but only completed 12 laps before his power unit started smoking and he stopped on-track.
At Silverstone it was Magnussen’s turn to suffer misfortune. His weekend began to go awry when he stopped on-track during Q1 due to a loss of oil pressure, resigning him to 19th on the grid.
Following that setback, ahead of Sunday’s race, Haas’ technical director Simone Resta was hopeful the team had put the spare of failures behind it.
“Touching wood, it’s been a good season so far, I believe,” said Resta, while admitting, “we’ve had a few nightmares on the engine side.
“But other than that, I think it has been a decent start. I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly worried in that respect.”
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“To me, from a pure reliability point of view, from a team point of view, it has been a decent start so far,” he added.
But he acknowledged the team had suffered problems with parts outside its direct control, such as its Ferrari power unit. “We take what we’ve got, we are happy with what they give us, we run it and we do our best,” he said. “We focus on the part we can affect and we can improve.”
Unfortunately for the team, more problems lay ahead in the race. Magnussen’s drive came to an end after half-distance when he suffered a fiery engine failure which brought him to a stop on-track again.
After the race, Hulkenberg admitted he was concerned about the team’s reliability this year. “Definitely the alarm bells are ringing,” he said.
“It seems to happen more just on our team and cars. So I think we definitely take it seriously and we need to investigate and find out why,” added Hulkenberg.
Magnussen was more phlegmatic about the team’s predicament. “I couldn’t finish qualifying, I couldn’t finish the race, so obviously not my weekend,” he reflected on Sunday evening.
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“I think we are fighting a little bit too hard right now to get into the top ten, and we’ve just got to push together as a team and work harder moving forward.”
“It’s one of those things that it’s so much out of my control that I don’t tend to worry about it,” he added about his race-ending failure, which occurred following a change of units after his qualifying breakdown.
“Of course, I offer my feedback if they need it, but it’s really up to them to run the engine. It’s not something I can have any influence on. So all I can do is stay focused and you stay close to the team, try to help them find the next improvement.”
Haas slipped to eighth in the constructors’ championship at Silverstone, level on points with seventh-placed Williams.
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