Malaysian GP

Fine for Haas after Esteban Gutierrez’s lost wheel

Haas have been given a fine after Esteban Gutierrez lost his front left wheel during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Mexican lost his wheel midway around the circuit shortly after a pitstop, although it was later revealed by the team that it was a failure which caused the wheel to come off. It was somewhat of a disaster for Haas in Malaysia, with Romain Grosjean also retiring early after losing his brakes at the final corner and bringing out the Virtual Safety Car in the process.

The FIA confirmed the penalty after the race saying, “Having reviewed the audio from the car, the available data and spoken to the driver and team concerned, the Stewards were satisfied that the driver Gutierrez did not know that he was driving the car in an unsafe condition. 

“It appears that a mechanical failure led to the wheel being able to be tightly fitted to the car while not actually attached correctly. An additional failure occurred in turn one under braking, but the wheel was still retained in an abnormal way until it appears that the failure of the rim blew the wheel past the retention devices.

“Having spoken with the Technical Delegate, the Stewards were satisfied that the retention devices operated within their required design limits. However, as some function of the design, part failure or fitting allowed the wheel to come loose on the track, which is considered a serious safety issue, the Stewards determined that this led to the car being released in an unsafe condition.

“In addition to the fine above, the Stewards order that the team provide the Technical Delegate with a report on the failure and all corrective actions.”

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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