US F1 Team Haas Unveils Car Decked Out in Russian Colours


US Formula 1 outfit Haas, with an all-rookie lineup of Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, on Thursday, unveiled their race car for the upcoming season, decked out in the colours of the Russian flag.

The unveiling came as Haas announced that Russian company Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash fertilizer producers and exporters, will become the title partner of the F1 team in a multi-year agreement starting this season.

Billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, father of 22-year-old Nikita, is a non-executive director of Uralkali.

The VF-21 race car will make its physical debut on March 12, the first day of pre-season testing hosted at the Bahrain International Circuit.

“It’s definitely a case of all change but I’m hoping that we get back to being in the mix for scoring some points at these races,” said Gene Haas, chairman of Uralkali Haas F1 Team.

“It’s been a tough couple of seasons, but we’ve also got our eye on the bigger picture, in particular 2022 and the implementation of the new regulations.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner played down expectation, saying “it’s going to be an exciting year head – hopefully exciting only in a good way though”.

“We face a year of learning with the drivers while technically we look ahead to the future. It’s no secret that the VF-21 will not be developed as we focus our energies now on the 2022 car and, what we hope, will be a more level-playing field.

“We all know roughly where we expect to be this season in terms of the competition, but we must ensure we’re there to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves.”

First up, however, was getting Schumacher — the son of the seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher — and Mazepin, who have replaced Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, “dialed in at testing”, Steiner added.

“Time behind the wheel is short – so it’ll be a steep curve, but I’m personally looking forward to seeing their development as drivers and as team members within Uralkali Haas F1 Team.”

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