Haas F1 team revealed some very unsurprising news, but it had a bigger impact that anyone could have predicted. Dmitry Mazepin’s company Uralkali are the title sponsors for the 2021 Haas VF-21. This has led to a livery that reflects Russia entirely, despite the American values of the company.
With Nikita Mazepin unable to race under the Russian flag, Haas have found an ingenious way around it. Despite racing as a neutral athlete, the driver will race in the colours of his national flag inside the VF-21. This also means that F1 will have another red, white and blue livery this year. We are once again reminded why McLaren papaya looks so exceptional on the grid, because it’s so original.
There’s a distinct lack of sponsorship on the car this year however. It is clear that Uralkali have paid a lot of money for title sponsorship and the Mazepin name in F1. They are close to the only sponsors on this year’s car though. 1&1 are the only other visible sponsor on the car. Everyone therefore has to wonder whether the bad press towards Haas will impact their support this year. Despite the surge in finances from the Mazepin family, having no support on or off the track besides them may lead to the downfall of the team. This is unlikely to affect Schumacher however. The young German will be moved to Ferrari as quickly as he can prove himself in the sport I’m sure.
Haas F1 team had a difficult winter break, with allegations about Mazepin being the topic of a lot of discussion. It is therefore unsurprising that this year’s launch was reasonably subdued, with a simple social media post. Without speaking to any members of the team, or the drivers, we will have to wait until testing and the races to see how Haas expect this year to go.
The car was ultimately reasonably well-received, although the Russian livery did confuse some. It seemed a little odd to have no American or German involvement on the car. It made it clear to everywhere that the future of the team is solely focussed on the Mazepin family. This sparked a new round of debate surrounding whether Nikita deserves to be in the sport.