Haas suffers double DNF in Malaysia, fined for unsafe Gutierrez release

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The Haas Formula 1 Team endured a Sunday to forget at Sepang as both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix due to mechanical issues on their cars.

Haas had been hopeful of scoring its points since the middle of July after qualifying 12th and 13th, with Grosjean rising into the top 10 early on.

However, the Frenchman was sent careering into the barrier at the final corner after suffering a brake failure early on in the race.

“We really don’t know what happened yet, but the pedal just went straight to the floor and I had to avoid the car in front of me,” Grosjean said.

“Our data didn’t suggest anything beforehand. It’s a shame. We did a really good first lap and we were looking at points running inside the top-10. Things just didn’t go very well.

“I was racing with Fernando [Alonso]. He had power, so it was very difficult to keep him behind. I was then just trying to follow his pace. The plan was to try to keep the tires alive for quite a while. We just didn’t get to that point, though.”

Gutierrez had been caught up in the first corner fracas, leaving him running well down the order, but he failed to even finish the race after losing his front-left wheel when running down the main straight.

“Today we had a fantastic start. It was pretty good up to the first corner when, unfortunately, I got a puncture in my rear-right tire from Kevin [Magnussen] touching behind,” Gutierrez explained.

“I then had to come back to the pits. The floor was damaged and when I went back out on track I was fighting a lot, pushing to make up places, but the car wasn’t easy to drive.

“We had to retire after my second pit stop as we had a mechanical failure. Overall, a pretty disappointing weekend, but we have to keep our focus and keep the rhythm as we head to Japan.”

Haas was later hit with a €5,000 fine from the FIA for releasing Gutierrez’s car in an unsafe manner.