Miscommunication blamed for Haas' near-miss in Bahrain

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SHANGHAI, China -- Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have moved on from their near-collision in Bahrain after Haas put it down to a "miscommunication" between the pitwall and its drivers.

Grosjean appeared to hold up Magnussen during the race after the Dane had stopped earlier for fresh rubber and caught back up to him on the track, the same time Grosjean was busy fighting with Force India's Sergio Perez. Magnussen, who felt he was being blocked, took to remonstrating on the radio before attempting a risky move down the inside of Turn 2 where he very nearly made contact with his teammate.

"We've had a good chat about it in the team and the subject is closed," Grosjean said. "It was unfortunate timing because when Kevin came out I was behind the Force India and I was going for a move.

"I knew Kevin was coming behind on new tyres but I didn't know if it was one, two or four seconds behind when you don't see anything in the mirrors and I was focusing on the Force India. It was poor communication because Kevin thought I was going to let him go up the inside and I didn't know he was straight behind me as I was doing my race. It was an unfortunate situation."

Despite the squabble in Bahrain and the heartbreak in Australia, Haas is well and truly in the hunt for fourth place in the constructors' championship in 2018 as Formula One's midfield has once again tightened up. Haas was the clear frontrunner of the midfield in Australia before a pair of botched pitstops ruined their chances of a double top-five finish while in Bahrain the momentum swung to Toro Rosso who surprised when Pierre Gasly snatched P4.

The tight pack has made getting a read on the order extremely difficult ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix and while it's clear Grosjean wants Haas to be at the head of the bunch, he says he is delighted by the prospect of being involved in a tight season-long battle with a number of teams.

"Obviously we would like to be in no man's land where Force India were last season -- a bit too slow to get the top teams but a bit too fast for the midfield -- but it's super tight and super exciting. It's exciting because it shows the midfield can change every race and it's good to see. Going into qualifying you know you need to get things right and same thing in the race. It's good."