Haas’ woes could spark trouble for Ferrari

Nico Hulkenberg was forced to park his car on the side of the track as cars returned to the pitlane after engineers alerted him to a technical failure.

Haas almost landed a rare podium at the Australian Grand Prix, as Nico Hulkenberg got close to P3 before a decision to revert to an earlier starting order for the final red flag restart saw him dropped back to seventh.

While Hulkenberg missed out on his chance at a podium finish, the seventh place ending was a strong performance for Haas, which hasn’t ended a race this high since Kevin Magnussen got P5 at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having crossed the finish line, things went sour for the team though as Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg was seen pulling his car on to the side of the track and exiting the cockpit after a mechanical issue brought him to a standstill.

Formula 1 teams that incorporate the same MGU-K power unit as Haas could be set for a tricky time in the coming rounds of the 2023 season after Haas uncovered a technical issue that could spark concern.

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“I lost performance for a short moment. The gears were no longer synchronized. But then the performance came back and I was told to park the car immediately after the destination,” he explained after the race.

The initial cause of the mechanical issue was unclear but, two hours after the race, it became clear that Hulkenberg was very lucky to finish the race at all, let alone end in a points finish. 

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The MGU-K had failed and caused the car to rapidly lose power on the Albert Park Circuit.

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This season alone, the MGU-K has caused problems for Haas four times.

With Ferrari and Alfa Romeo both having experienced engine issues, and the teams using the same MGU-K as Haas, these technical concerns are likely to cause concern for all three constructors.