Haas formally unveils VF-21 F1 car following Bahrain shakedown

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Following a presentation of the striking new livery the team will race with this year, Haas presented the final version of the VF-21 outside its garage at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday.

The formal launch of the car took place 90 minutes before the start of pre-season testing begins in Bahrain, and marks the completion of the grid for 2021.

Haas enters the 2021 season following a number of changes over the winter, including the arrival of two new drivers and a new title sponsor.

F2 champion and Ferrari Driver Academy member Mick Schumacher will make his F1 debut with Haas this season, 30 years after his father, Michael, first entered a grand prix.

Schumacher will be joined by fellow F2 graduate Nikita Mazepin, who also brings new title sponsorship via his father’s company, Uralkali.

Mazepin completed the first shakedown in the Haas VF-21 car during a filming session in Bahrain on Thursday, racking up 100km.

Schumacher will complete the first extended run-out in the car as he completes the early session in Bahrain on Friday, with Mazepin then taking over for the afternoon.

 

The two drivers will then continue to alternate through the second and third days, ensuring each gets 1.5 days of running over the three-day test.

Haas has already revealed that it opted not to spend any of its permitted development tokens on improving the car for 2021, and will not bring upgrades through the season as it places greater focus on its 2022 model.

“It’s a transitional season, I call it, to get to ’22,” said team principal Gunther Steiner.

“We did this with the expectation that this year, if we invest a lot of time, money, tokens, windtunnel time, it’s one year, and we were starting late last year anyway.

“The car wasn’t our best car, so if you put it altogether, it was actually pointless to invest in the short-term. It was much more important to invest in the mid- and long-term.

“We don’t want to be last. We’ll do our best and the guys put a lot of effort into getting the best out of the short development time that we had.

“But it’s a transitional period to get over to ’22, and we don’t have to forget that we have two rookie drivers. That was as well already when we announced them, this is part of the whole plan, [because] we want to be ready for ‘22 in all areas.

“In the end, we come up with two drivers which already are young and hungry, because they haven’t been there [in F1 before], and we have got a good car for them in ’22.”

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