Haas have had the pre-season from hell. With problems both on and off the track, including troubles with the car in Barcelona testing and terminating their contract with driver Nikita Mazepin, things have now gone from bad to worse.
Turns out, they might be forced to miss the opening day of testing in Bahrain as their cars haven’t arrived yet!
Teams’ equipment was due to arrive in Bahrain yesterday ahead of the three-day test getting underway on Thursday. However, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport first reported that the American team’s cargo is still stuck in the UK.
The plane that was due to transport their cars and spare parts has become stranded in Istanbul with technical problems, and as a result, team boss Guenther Steiner believes they may have to “write off” the opening day.
Talk about putting a spanner in the works!
Haas are attempting to get their equipment to the Sakhir circuit by Tuesday evening, but their crew will face a race against time to get everything prepared before the first televised pre-season test.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 3, 2022
Should the American team be forced to miss the entirety of Thursday’s running, AMuS have suggested they could get special permission to run separately on the Sunday after testing ends on the grounds of force majeure.
To put it simply, this delay was beyond the team’s or F1’s control.
Starting development on their 2022 car before many of their rivals, Haas were optimistic that this season could see them claw their way off the back of the grid, but pre-season testing has been nothing short of a disaster for them.
Mechanical problems in Barcelona saw them only manage to clock in 160 laps, the lowest out of all ten teams.
Meanwhile, they’ve yet to confirm who will be replacing Nikita Mazepin a week before the season-opener, having axed him and title sponsor Uralkali amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, it does appear Pietro Fittipaldi will be in the car for testing this week as the team’s official reserve!
All teams will be hoping not to miss out on any crucial time on track at their final pre-season test. They’ll be keeping their fingers crossed not to see a repeat of F2/F3 testing last week, which saw its final afternoon cancelled due to a sandstorm.
— Enzo Fittipaldi (@enzofitti) March 4, 2022
This isn’t the first time teams have found themselves waiting for their cars. Bad weather delays following the Mexican Grand Prix saw most of the grid fail to receive there cars until the day before FP1 for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
How do you think Haas will get on this season? Let us know in the comments below.