Mar.8 - Haas' pre-season problems continue to mount, as it emerges that a cargo plane breakdown means the American team is likely to miss the start of the final test in Bahrain.

The 2022 cars, one of which is to be driven by Pietro Fittipaldi after the expulsion of title sponsor Uralkali and Nikita Mazepin over the Ukraine-Russia crisis, are stuck in Doncaster airport along with spare parts.

"According to our information, it should now be flown to Leipzig and from there to Bahrain," Auto Motor und Sport reported.

Team boss Gunther Steiner confirmed: "We may have to write off the first test day. All the other teams have a two-day lead in preparation over us."

It is believed Formula 1 and the FIA may be intervening to help, especially as the sport wants to present the ten cars publicly on the Bahrain grid on Thursday.

It's just the latest setback for F1's smallest and slowest team, with Haas now under fire in some quarters for kicking out Mazepin despite the FIA allowing him to race as a neutral athlete.

"There was a lot of intense criticism about the Ukrainian invasion and it was just getting overwhelming," team owner Gene Haas explained to the Associated Press.

"We can't deal with all that, our other sponsors can't deal with all that."

Fittipaldi will substitute for the 22-year-old Russian in Bahrain, but other candidates are being considered for the race seat including Antonio Giovinazzi, Nico Hulkenberg and Oscar Piastri.

Haas admitted there are "several candidates".

"We'll have somebody by Wednesday," he said. "I think we'd obviously like to get someone with a bit more actual experience.

"We just have to see what's available."

Haas also denied that losing title sponsor Uralkali, headed by Mazepin's father Dmitry who was reportedly close to Vladimir Putin, does not endanger the team.

"I don't know why people said it became a Russian team," he said. "Haas Automation was always on the car.

"We're good. We're fine," he insisted. "We'd like more money, of course, but we're fine. This just gives us a bigger negative number."

✅ Check out more posts with related topics:

6 F1 Fan comments on “Haas team pre-season problems continue to mount?

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    Things couldn't get any worse for Haas.
    Whoever does pre-season testing should also become a regular driver. Otherwise, the replacement would begin the season without literally any pre-FP1 driving, even worse than doing only three testing days beforehand.
    Gio is a viable option, although he doesn’t bring sponsor backing, which would be good despite Gene saying they’re fine without.
    Gio is about the only viable option besides P. Fittipaldi.
    Hulkenberg has been away from regular F1 racing too long for someone who hasn't achieved success in the series (even he's admitted/confessed the F1 train has probably left).
    Piastri has been unrealistic from the get-go & equally unrealistic as for AR when speculated last year.
    People seemingly ponder these two only for emotional reasons rather than their actual chances.
    Additionally, Daruvala (also mentioned in this context) is more or less as unrealistic as Piastri & so are others.

  2. ReallyOldRacer

    Since 2018 the Haas problems have been car and team management centric. With GRO/MAG they had a combo who could scarf up some points and offer car improvement suggestions,but that asset was mostly squandered. Now they have a huge fish to fry and very little boiling oil.


What's your F1 fan opinion?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please follow our commenting guidelines.