Their lap times may have been decent so far – but all in all it’s been a difficult start to pre-season testing for Haas, with their cars causing four red flags across the three days in Barcelona, three of those coming on Wednesday.
Romain Grosjean was the first to encounter problems with the VF-19, pulling up with a fuel pressure issue on Day 1 of testing. Then Day 3 saw test driver Pietro Fittipaldi forced to stop with an ignition problem, with the same issue plaguing Grosjean later, before a last stoppage for the Frenchman in the final moments of the day.
“It was electronic problems which influenced the working of the engine,” was the reason Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner gave for Grosjean’s last problem of the day. “The engine couldn't run safely anymore so we had to stop it.
“At least nothing is big broke, like when you break an engine,” Steiner added. “[That’s] worse, but we just need to find what causes [the problems] and then we'll get to grips with it. But we are still good in time in my opinion to find it, so that's why I'm not too desperate about it.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Haas had to deal with another, more niggly issue yesterday, when Kevin Magnussen’s headrest was found to not fit properly, forcing Haas to replace him in the car with Fittipaldi for the rest of the day. That, at least, was an easier fix for the American squad, with the Dane set to return to the cockpit tomorrow.