Kevin Magnussen described Haas’ Australian Grand Prix outcome as “heartbreaking” after both he and team-mate Romain Grosjean retired from strong positions.
Haas built on its pre-season and practice promise by locking out the third row of the grid in Australia, and Magnussen jumped Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off the line to capture fourth.
Magnussen held the place through the first stint while Grosjean profited from Verstappen spinning to move into fifth, as he fended off the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
However, Magnussen slowed as he exited the pits after his first stop and he parked his VF-18 at Turn 4, while a similar fate befell Grosjean a few laps later.
Haas has yet to determine the exact cause of the respective retirements, though specific attention was given to the wheel guns, with Grosjean’s exit suspected to be due to a loose wheel.
“It’s a very tough one to swallow for the whloe team with both cars not finishing in such good positions,” rued Magnussen.
“There was so much anticipation coming up to this race and then being in such a good position, it’s so heartbreaking to finish like that.
“But we’ll get on top again and we’ll fight back and do it all again.”
Grosjean was nonetheless buoyed that Haas was in a position to claim a potential haul of 22 points, and says its current disappointment will soon lift if such pace can be replicated elsewhere.
“All weekend we had good low-fuel pace and good high-fuel pace,” he said.
“I mean today I had great pace, I could have stayed a bit more with the frontrunners if I had been ahead of Kevin at the start of the race.
“Right now everyone is down and we need to analyse everything and see if it is a problem with the guns or the mechanics, we didn’t have any problems in winter testing so it’s a bit strange.
“It’s a lot of points lost today, but if we can repeat that performance over and over, we’ll forget this one very quickly.”
Haas was fined a total of €10,000 for the respective unsafe releases.