Haas team principal Guenther Steiner doubts Kevin Magnussen would have scored points at the Turkish GP even with a smooth stop.
But the Danish driver was released with a loose wheel, forcing him to stop at the pit exit as Haas scrambled to push him back to the pit box.
By the time all this was done Magnussen was two laps behind, and he made it clear that points were possible without such an error.
Steiner though, isn’t so sure.
“We just said we need to cover Russell because at the time it looked like we’d get a point, so we covered Russell and then the pit stop went wrong,” he told RaceFans.net.
“The thread was crossed and the guy went for another gun because he couldn’t get it off with the [first] one, and the jack man thought it was OK.
“The guy didn’t give the go-ahead, but because the other guy went away to get the other gun, [the jack man] dropped the car and obviously Kevin went.
“So it was a misunderstanding because the guy didn’t give the green but he thought the guy’s going away and then he dropped the car, and then once the car is down the driver goes.
“I looked at the data, I think the best we would have come out is about would be 11th or 12th. I looked at the graphs before because I wanted to know what is possible.
“It would have been difficult because nobody actually from the top drivers dropped out. The drop-outs were all in the back. So I think that it would have been difficult. For sure not having that mistake the chances [would have been] bigger, obviously we know that, but I think it would have been on the edge.”
When back out on the wet and slippery Istanbul Park track Magnussen complained of not being able to see the cars behind that were trying to lap him in his mirrors, calling situation “dangerous”.
But Haas kept him in the race in hope that retirements ahead would give their driver a shot at a points finish. This of course never materialised and Magnussen retired the VF-20 with a few laps to go.
“The difficulty was he couldn’t see to the back because of the mirrors,” Steiner explained.
“I think they were dirty and with all the spray, you cannot see anything in the rear. And being in the middle, being with blue flags, it’s very difficult if you can’t see at the back. He didn’t want to hurt anybody’s race or do anything which then is deemed having done something wrong.
“I think he started to say that with about 12 laps to go. And in a race like this, you never know: If in the front there is mayhem happening in a group of five or six cars all of a sudden you can unlap yourself. It is a difficult decision because then you’d really look stupid if you withdraw a car.
“He was fast – once the group of the leaders went by, the three cars, Stroll was pretty well-controlled. We monitored the time and said nobody’s coming for 10 seconds at least. And he kept the 10 seconds up. So we decided to keep him out there and the car was going good.
“The chances of an opportunity were very small, but you cannot just give up. We understood that he is struggling but we knew also that for a while nobody would be coming behind him.
“For sure, for him it’s frustrating, but we spoke with him afterwards and explained the situation to him.
“In the first instance when we explained it to him he said ‘it’s difficult to make two laps up’. Yes, but in this race, just think if mayhem happens in a group of six cars, they take each other out, all of a sudden you’re in a different position.”