Haas encountered a GPS failure during the British Grand Prix. To add salt into the wound, it occurred during the pit window, meaning that Grosjean and Gutierrez lost complete communication with their engineers.
— Esteban Gutierrez (@EstebanGtz) July 10, 2016
The new team were always bound to encounter difficulties in their maiden season, and it was a biggie at the British Grand Prix. One that ultimately wouldn’t have affected Grosjean as he DNF’ed, but Gutierrez missed out on the optimum window for the tyre change.
The Mexican was hung out to dry as the rest of the field pitted in for Slicks after a short stint on the Inters at the start of the race. The electrical cutout happened around lap 17 and caused “panic” on the American pit-wall.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was irritated but positive about the teething problems. When it was put to him that the race wasn’t one that Haas were hoping for, he said,
“That’s an understatement! Absolutely not. There are a few things which happened that put us in this position. It was a no-no day for us, today, starting from when we went to wet to intermediates — we double stinted and we shouldn’t have done.
Then we had a problem with our electricity — everything went down, we had no data, nothing available to the engineers because everything went down. The panic comes in then, you cannot concentrate on the car anymore but you try to fix to get your telemetry back.”
– Guenther Steiner
The midfield is extremely close this season and Haas have been quietly going about improving. They will be glad that this nightmare race was also a horror show for McLaren, their pointless finish means that Haas remain in touching distance in the constructors. But the blackout meant that Gutierrez lost track position, with a lonely finish down in 16th.
“These days, we knew they would happen. It’s never nice when they happen but you learn out of mistakes, you can do a lot by experience but some things you need to learn and make better. It was a tough race for a lot of people.”
– Guenther Steiner