Haas has 'lucky escape' from garage fire, but loses tyres


The Haas F1 team had a rather eventful start to its Russian Grand Prix weekend, the US outfit escaping a fire in its garage with only minimal damage.

The incident occurred overnight and apparently involved an overheating tyre blanket control box that ignited in the team's pit.

Fortunately, a security guard spotted the fire early on and it was quickly extinguished with the help of guards from other teams.

Damage included various equipment and two sets of tyres, forcing Haas to request from the FIA two new replacement sets from Pirelli.

"We don't know what happened yet, because it's all burned," team boss Guenther Steiner told Motorsport.com.

"And we cannot jump to a conclusion. I don't want to put any panic on to what actually happened, because we don't know.

"I think one security guard saw it, and then they all worked together to extinguish it.

"A lucky escape, and it's good that they worked together and caught it, because if tyres go on fire they are difficult to extinguish."

On race weekends, tyres are typically kept at a storage temperature of 60 degrees Celsius per Pirelli's instructions before the heat is gradually increased on the run-up to a session.

On Friday morning, Steiner denied the team had perhaps operated beyond Pirelli's formal instructions and prepped its tyres well in advance by turning up temperatures beyond the recommended level.

"They were not used overnight," insisted the Italian. "They were plugged in, otherwise there would have been no fire, but they were not turned up. They were just on standby.

"Now we'll have to unplug them at night. What they do normally is just come in in the morning and switch them on, everything is cabled up."

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