Haas suffer disruption due to Ferrari power unit issue

Ferrari completed 136 laps on the opening day of pre-season testing, with Carlos Sainz having driven in the morning and Charles Leclerc in the afternoon.

With pre-season testing well and truly underway at the Bahrain International Circuit, some of the teams’ opening day issues have been revealed.

For the usual leading trio, there was very little to complain about, with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes having completed an impressive number of laps.

Ferrari in particular will have been relieved to have gotten through the first day of pre-season testing without an issue with their power unit, given how hard they’ve worked on it during the winter break.

At least the factory Ferrari side didn’t experience any issues, with the same not being said for Ferrari customer team Haas.

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It was reported by Haas team principal Guenther Steiner that the team had to take apart a large portion off the rear of the VF-23, to fix a minor issue with the power unit.

“You have to take everything off to get to it and then fix that,” Steiner explained.

“We didn’t lose a lot of time, but I mean, if you have nine and a half hours a day, to lose an hour or two, that’s a lot of time percentage wise.”

Despite the issue, the American side still completed a good haul of laps, with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg having completed 108 laps between them.

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“We didn’t lose a lot to be honest. One run with tyres,” said Steiner.

“We still need to find out where the car is and get the best out of it, but otherwise, pretty happy.”

Following on from Steiner’s comments, it was confirmed by Haas’ director of engineering Ayao Komatsu that the team’s full-planned programme wasn’t completed on Thursday, but that it was still a “pretty good” start to pre-season testing.

“The objective of the first day of pre-season testing was to understand the fundamentals of the car – ride-height, stiffness, balance in the right window and mileage and reliability – so we tried to do as many laps as possible,” Komatsu said.

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“We didn’t 100 percent meet our objectives, but Nico did 51 laps in the morning and Kevin did 57 laps in the afternoon, which is pretty good.

“We only had minor issues, but we understand the solution.

“It’s too early to talk about performance but our initial feeling is good from what we achieved – so it’s a good start for day one.”