Haas unveil new car which will hand Mick Schumacher his Formula One debut… as the American team reveal brand new Russian-inspired livery after announcing new sponsor deal
- Haas have revealed the VF-21 car they will compete with in the 2021 season
- American team will run two rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin
- Russian Mazepin will be unable to compete under his country’s flag this season
- However, new livery will enable rookie to carry the nation’s colours on his car
- Team principal Guenther Steiner though expects a tough campaign
Haas have revealed their new VF-21 car for the 2021 season that Mick Schumacher will drive for his Formula One debut.
The digital launch saw the team unveil their challenger for the campaign, which features a curious livery change from last season’s black and white concept with red trim.
With backing from a new Russian sponsor Uralkali the American team have instead opted for a white based design with blue and red added to reflect the partnership.
Haas have unveiled the VF-21 car they will compete with in the 2021 Formula One season
With a new Russian sponsor, the livery features the colours and design of the nation’s flag
This is most notable on the sides of the car where the white, red and blue Russian flag features, as well as on the front wing and nose.
Schumacher, son of the legendary seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, comes into his first season of the sport fresh from winning the F2 championship last term.
The 21-year-old will team up with Nikita Mazepin, with the Russian rookie also making his F1 debut this season having come up from the F2 ranks.
However, the 22-year-old will be forced to run under a neutral flag for the season due to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upholding a ban on athletes competing under the Russian flag for the next two years.
Haas expect a tough season following on from scoring just three points in 2020
The team are already turning attention to 2022, with little development expected on the VF-21
Haas’s livery change comes having run last season with a largely black and white design with red trim, as featured by Mick Schumacher at an end of season test in Abu Dhabi (above)
Russian drivers are therefore prohibited from using national emblems, flags or symbols, as well as the word ‘Russia’ or ‘Russian’.
Haas’s clever livery design however will allow the Mazepin to compete in the sport with the Russian flag on his car.
Although neither driver was present at the launch, both will drive the car for the first time a week on Friday when pre-season testing begins in Bahrain, with the drivers to unveil the car physically on the morning of the first session.
The team also confirmed that on all three days of the test that both drivers would be featuring.
With a brand new driver line-up that replaces Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, Haas will be hoping to improve on their 2020 showing which saw them take just three points and see them take a lowly ninth in the constructors’ standings, above only Williams, who scored zero points.
Mick, son of the legendary Michael Schumacher, comes into F1 as the reigning F2 champion
He will team up with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, who also makes the step up from F2
Team principal Guenther Steiner admits though that attention is already focused on developing the 2022 car when a big change in the rules and regulations come into force, hinting the team could be in for a tough campaign.
‘We face a year of learning with the drivers while technically we look ahead to the future’, he said.
‘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 capitalise on opportunities when they present themselves.
‘But first we have to get the guys dialed in at testing. 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.’