A broken wheel nut that suffered damage after being forced too hard onto Romain Grosjean's Haas was the cause of the Frenchman's retirement from the Australian Grand Prix, team principal Guenther Steiner has confirmed.
Steiner added that the American team must be "jinxed" as a pit stop problem put Grosjean out of the race at Albert Park 12 months ago.
Grosjean's left front tyre would not attach properly when he came in for his stop, which led a mechanic to use extra force in an attempt to get the tyre to fit.
“In the pit stop there was an issue as we lost seven seconds and the race was lost there even if he could get to the end,” Steiner said. “He wouldn’t have got in the points, that was the issue, then they got the wheel back on.
“We didn’t lose the wheel like last year, but after 15 laps it mechanically broke as we forced it on. The wheel nut broke.
“It just seems to be jinxed. It is very strange like last year. After Melbourne we had 20 races without a problem then we come back here and we have a problem.”
The Dane took sixth place on Sunday, which gives Steiner hope that Haas could be in for a positive season ahead.
"It is disappointing but the good thing is the potential in the car is good,” he said. “It is a mixed feeling.
"Starting with the good things: we are competitive, Kevin did a fantastic race and the car is good qualifying sixth and seventh here, we finished sixth and have eight points which compared to last year is eight points more, we are in fourth position here and last year we were last.
“The negative is it could be a lot more if we wouldn’t have had the déjà vu from last year with Romain’s pit stop.
“There are more positives than negatives therefore you don’t see me in tears or down. Now we know the potential of the car we just have to get it out of it and do a good job.”