Haas chose not to fix a gearbox fault on Kevin Magnussen’s car after qualifying because they would have incurred a penalty.

Magnussen retired from yesterday’s race as the fault caused irregular upshifts which left him with a severe headache.

The problem was diagnosed after qualifying, where Magnussen claimed 17th on the grid. But fixing it would have incurred a gearbox change penalty, dropping Magnussen to the rear of the field.

“A somewhat frustrating Sunday afternoon, but nothing goes our way it looks like at the moment,” said team principal Guenther Steiner after yesterday’s race. “Not just the moment, it’s been a while actually.”

Magnussen was knocked into a spin by Sebastian Vettel on the first lap of the race. “Kevin getting together with Sebastian at turn seven, well, that put him in a place where there’s not a lot to do,” said Steiner.

“But he caught up pretty well in the end. He then had the gearbox issue which we had since after qualifying, but we were not allowed by the FIA to change the sensors without penalty – so that went against us.”

Magnussen said the problem first developed “on my fastest lap in qualifying” and cost him around half a second per lap.

“The problem came back in the race, it was there from the first lap. I was having slow up-shifts, and not only are they slow, it’s also like a big bang every time you up-shift. It seems okay for a couple of laps but then it starts shaking your head crazily. By the end I just had a massive headache – I told the team.

“I think they felt there was nothing to fight for, so they [pitted] me. I was spun around at the start and that was really the end of it. I lost so much time getting back on track.

“The pace was really good actually, it was better than we had expected – even with the up-shifts that were costing us around half a second a lap.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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