Haas to miss Bahrain F1 test start after cargo arrives late

The US company faced anxiety days after its cargo was stranded in the UK when a transport plane due to ship it was delayed at Istanbul airport.

Although cargo was finally loaded on Tuesday and arrived in the Middle East last night, the team is well behind schedule in its preparations for the final pre-season test this week.

While other outfits were setting things up from Monday to be able to roll out of the garage on Thursday morning, Haas is now in a race against time to get out on opening day action.

A Haas spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that the team’s freight was finally in Bahrain, but estimated that it would not be ready to start for Thursday’s afternoon session.

“I can confirm that our cargo arrived late last night at the Bahrain circuit,” a Haas spokesperson said. “This delay will impact our program but we aim to be on track for the second session on Thursday afternoon with Pietro Fittipaldi at the wheel of the VF-22. I have no further updates at this time. .”

This freight delay caps a particularly difficult fortnight for Haas, which has just parted ways with Nikita Mazepin and his title sponsor Uralkali.

With the world in turmoil over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Haas felt he could not continue with the major support he had from the country’s sponsor.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport pictures

He has yet to confirm his plans on who will replace Mazepin for the 2022 season, with only announcing so far that reserve driver Fittipaldi will drive in this week’s test.

Antonio Giovinazzi and Nico Hulkenberg have been widely linked with the seat, while reports from Denmark have suggested Kevin Magnussen could even be set for a surprise return after talks with the outfit opened.

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Haas owner Gene Haas said that while the loss of Uralkali would affect the team’s funding, the team’s future was in no doubt as they were well supported.

“Was good. We’re fine. We’d like more money, of course, but we’re fine,” he told AP last week. “It just gives us a bigger negative number.”