Haas Racing wants someone to pay for the $750,000 in damage they say was done to one of their cars because of a faulty drain cover.
Romain Grosjean was on the course at the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix when one his tires blew, causing his car to spin out of control and hit a barrier. It was later determined that a weld on a drain cover had broken, allowing the cover to lift up.
The resulting damage was extensive, and Haas team manager Guenther Steiner tells ESPN that someone has to pay.
“It was completely out of our hands. I cannot say ‘OK we now let three quarters of a million go because somebody forgot to weld something in’, it’s all good. We pay a fee to come here and it’s like, guys [come on]….”
From their end, FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting told Motorsport.com that the track had taken all the right maintenance precautions.
“Welding is perfectly acceptable. I suspect the bolts have probably broken and rather than replace the whole thing, they’ve thought, ‘we’ll weld it down’. Quite evidently, the welds just gave up. It’s as simple as that really. No one saw that coming,” Whiting said at the time of the investigation.
The topic of liability was raised in last Friday’s drivers meeting by standing leader Lewis Hamilton, asking the question of just who is responsible when neither a team or driver is at fault. Steiner is wondering the same thing.
“We discuss it, they were very professional about it. They have insurance so let’s see what we can do.”