Haas livery, 2021

WADA “looking into” Haas’s Russian livery

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In the round-up: The World Anti-Doping Agency, which has banned the use of the Russian flag by the country’s athletes, is looking into whether Haas’s livery is compliant.

Haas livery attracts WADA’s attention

Haas presented a new livery for the 2021 F1 season on Thursday in which the colours of the Russian flag feature predominantly.

It followed the news last month the team’s driver Nikita Mazepin, along with other Russian athletes, are forbidden from displaying the country’s flag on their sporting equipment under a ban handed down by WADA. The ban was imposed in response to a long-running investigation over Russia’s state-backed doping programme.

WADA told RaceFans it “is aware of this matter and is looking into it with the relevant authorities.” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said this week it is up to WADA, not the FIA, to determine if the livery is compliant

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

No spectators at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Start, Baku City Circuit, 2019
Baku race will take place without fans
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoters have confirmed this year’s race on June 6th will take place without spectators due to the pandemic.

Last year’s race was one of several which were cancelled entirely as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We are, of course, thrilled to welcome F1 back to Baku after such a difficult period but we will deeply miss our amazing fans that have played a vital part in making this race weekend such a special occasion year after year,” said Baku City Circuit executive director Arif Rahimov. “Our message is as simple as it its heartfelt: we miss you and we will see you again.”

Fans who purchased tickets for last year’s race will be able to use them for next year’s grand prix.

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Comment of the day

Few of you were won over to Williams’ striking new livery:

The colour combination works and I get the little historical references dotted throughout it, but the shaping ruins it. It’s not at all coherent or modern. It’s just a bit of a mess.

The lack of sponsors probably just highlights it all even more. A big sponsor down the sidepod would give a focal point and tie all the bits together a little more. But it screams ‘backmarker’ in my opinion. It’s a lot more HRT-meets-financially-crippled-Sauber than it should be.
Mark (@Mrcento)

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  • 50 years ago today the new Formula 1 season opened at Kyalami in South Africa. Mario Andretti scored his first win, bringing his Ferrari home 20 seconds ahead of pole-winner Jackie Stewart.

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  • 44 comments on “WADA “looking into” Haas’s Russian livery”

    1. I’d love for it to be Patrese, he drove so many cars over such a long career, from that Monza start line crash, to turbos, active suspension. He always comes across as very personable and willing to talk openly.

      1. Really nice pick – Patrese – @bernasaurus. I agree, hearing from him would be very interesting.

    2. I tend to agree with the COTD. It looks like no real thought has been put into the arrangement or transition of the colours. It reminds me of the horrible choices when you play “My Team” mode in the F1 2020 game, which look completely out of place with the regular liveries of the bigger teams.

      I still don’t understand why you see better designs from guys playing around in 3D programs on Instagram, than what the real teams produce.

      1. Only Alpine has a graphic designer to design their livery. HRT, Jordan and Brabham had one in the past, but we need more.

        1. Haha, what?! Who do you think designed the liveries for the other teams then, if it wasn’t a graphic designer?

          1. I missed the comments?!

          2. Peter Stevens – Brabham
            Ian Hutchinson – Jordan, Onyx, Brabham, Benetton, AGS, Virgin
            Daniel Simon – HRT
            Sean Bull – Renault/Alpine

      2. t reminds me of the horrible choices when you play “My Team” mode in the F1 2020 game

        That’s probably how Dorilton decided to buy and now manages the team.

        Or they’re planning to put an Renault/Alpine PU under that cover.

      3. It’s not a great color scheme, but it’s much better than last year. I’d say it’s « good enough » for me. Which will likely not be the case in terms of performance, unfortunately for them and for Russel. Îm being pessimistic, but pretty sure they did the minimum on this one to match the new regulations and have out all the rest kn the 2022 car. Could be a long season again…

    3. Baku would’ve been better off later in the year, either as a double-header with, for example, Hungaroring or even Sochi Autodrom. Not only for travel but also a higher chance of having attendance. More relevantly, though, how is this achievable, considering Baku’s track is temporary, and temporary ones generally need spectator attendance to cover the build-up process costs? How are they going to do so without any ticket income?
      Probably no grandstand (nor TV screen) will get built up due to this move, only the other temporary structures, i.e., everything but the above two.

      1. As all three races are flyaway races it doesn’t really make any difference if you do them back to back or separate.
        It’s even more difficult as for many auxiliary items they use slow sea/train/road transport and need more planning (only three of those sets available) and time.

        1. @coldfly Logistically, having Baku on subsequent weekends with Sochi would be the best choice. Even Hungaroring or Red Bull Ring would be better in this regard than Montreal, simply because the travel distance is considerably shorter. The Canadian GP within the European leg should always be a standalone event unless another North American race took place at around the same time of year, as was the case with Indianapolis back in the day. I don’t have a problem with Baku being in June itself as June is, after all, a pleasantly warm month in Baku. The only thing that needs fixing is the specific scheduling relative to Montreal. Something F1 should avoid at all costs, considering the incentive towards 100% carbon neutrality.

    4. @jerejj I guess the Azerbaijan GP is run as much as propaganda as a chance for fans to watch F1, so the country still derives value from running it behind closed doors.

      It’s a shame though, despite their poor track record it is a race I’d like to visit and I was eyeing it up only yesterday. Ah well, another year.

      1. @marcusbreese I agree, but what do you mean by ‘poor track record’? Baku has delivered relatively decent racing for a street track.

        1. Probably referring to their human rights issues.

        2. @jerejj yes, I meant poor record on human rights. Corrupt government and warmongering and the like. As a race though, it’s generally been superb (first year excepted) and it’s got some real character about it.

    5. To be honest, if no one said anything about the Haas livery would anyone care?

      It’s not like it’s going to be seen much unless Sky decides to rabbit on and on about Mick Schumacher and they’re hardly likely to say anything about Russian flags if they are talking about him are they.

      1. I understand that Haas is hiring the legendary Ian Rush as press liaison officer.
        He’ll do all the interviews with the press and have his full name (surname first) on his team kit.

        1. Rushian sounds like a russian in a hurry to grab some…

      2. Coventry Climax
        6th March 2021, 11:18

        If WADA wants to be taken serious, they will not consent to the HAAS livery. The article(s) and Steiner himself stress that it’s just the colors, but that thin red stripe going from sidepod to sidepod, over the fin, clearly makes it not just the colors, but the actual flag itself, which is explicitly forbidden – and rightly so.
        In answer to your “who cares”: I do. Integrity IS important, and governing bodies, called to life to enforce it, should have the (guts and) power to do just that.

        1. Coventry Climax
          6th March 2021, 11:20

          Let me add to that that I’m disappointed in the FIA (as usual) for allowing it.

          1. someone or something
            6th March 2021, 11:32

            Nothing to do with the FIA, as has been pointed out repeatedly. This is between the WADA and the competitors.
            Of course, the FIA could whip out the “yada yada bring the sport into disrepute” paragraph, but that seems rather far-fetched (at least with this flag, I could think of other examples where they would clearly intervene), and a weird hill to die on. Let the WADA be the judge, just like it would be the case if someone failed a doping test.

            1. Coventry Climax
              6th March 2021, 15:52

              And what makes you think I didn’t know that? It’s exactly that: I also expect the FIA to have something to say when someone fails a doping test. As I equally expect they’ll say nothing about it.

            2. someone or something
              8th March 2021, 9:09

              @ Coventry Climax

              And what makes you think I didn’t know that

              Your comment.

              I also expect the FIA to have something to say when someone fails a doping test.

              Fair enough. But this is by no means as clear-cut as a failed doping test. This case here has more in common with Haas’ Rich Energy adventure, where their sponsor violated another company’s intellectual property with its logo. I don’t think anyone from the FIA issued an official statement, they simply left them to sort their stuff out while the matter was clarified with the responsible instances.
              The FIA might’ve got involved if Rich Energy/Haas had kept using the logo despite the ruling saying they couldn’t. But up to that point, it’s just paint on a car.

              As I equally expect they’ll say nothing about it.

              What, apart from a forced comparison between an apple and a hypothetical orange, makes you think that the FIA would stay silent on an F1 driver’s failed doping test? Signalling virtue in such a case (without the negative connotation, please, doping IS fraud and a terrible example to anyone who watches the sport and wants to succeed at literally anything) is such a no-brainer, I can’t imagine a scenario in which there’s any incentive for the FIA to stay silent.
              And, again, a failed doping test is by no means comparable to a paint job that may or may not break the rules of another organisation. Until that organisation passes a verdict, the FIA has nothing to gain by getting involved.

        2. Its an american car with a german and a russian driver in those colors. Run by an italian team principal.
          Probably nothing WADA can do there…

          1. A russian flag is forbidden on ‘sporting equipment’. I thing they can !

      3. It is a matter of principle. It is clearly a way around the flag ban as Uralkali’s corporate logo is red and green… So the livery is not reflecting the sponsor and therefore can do not be reflecting the country the sponsor is from…

        1. Can only be… Rather than can do not be… Stupid auto spell…

      4. Ryanoceros666
        6th March 2021, 18:58

        I agree but Haas will say it is American flag colors.

        1. I think they would have a hard time claiming that. The us flags blue colour is darker than the Russian flag colour and can easily be analysed and compared.

          Not only that but it is rare for a livery that is portraying the US flag to either not include multiple red and white stripes or some form of star emblem within the blue.

          1. Costa Rican colours, surely.

    6. @dbradock I don’t think anyone does really care about the colours a car is painted in. What would have happened if ‘Russian Time’ had still been in F2? Would they have to change their name? It all seems like a very pointless way of not making any particular point and calling them sanctions.

      1. @bernasaurus because I believe some of the members of the former Russian Time team might themselves now be subject to sanctions (and others at the team stand accused of fraudulent trading activities), there is a chance that they probably would be forced to change their name – and probably change a few other things besides that…

    7. RocketTankski
      6th March 2021, 10:50

      oh WADA WADA WADA ooh!
      Tell me more, tell me more!
      Was it love at first sight?

      1. Thanks that’s stuck in my head now, you’ve sound tracked my whole day.

    8. AS I understand it it is Russian athletes that are not allowed to display their national colors and flag. Bit this is an American F1 team displaying the Russian colors. Schumacher will race the same car and livery. Will there be any objections to that from WADA?

      1. The sanctions are applied to the athlete, so being employed by a non-Russian team doesn’t make any difference. The team is heavily connected to Russian money, so that will play its part for the rest of the team so any “flag-waving” dubiousness can be looked at across all visible violations.

        At least that’s how I read it. It’s not a full-blown flag, but it HUGELY represents the flag so the sanctions I think are relevant here.

        The very first thing I “saw” when the images were released were “That’s a very Russian looking colours”. Does that mean flag? I guess we’ll see.

    9. Gene Haas, Is he a far right conservative to allow his pride and joy America racing organisation to have a Russian theme on his highest level racing series car? Is it the donald trump effect of capitalism supporting democracy switching to autocracy? I would like to hear Gene get interviewed about this situation and hear his answers. I thought it was great when his team entered f1, though i knew he would fail against bigger long term investment manufacturers, his tram seemed like a real high end midfield team that might quickly get manufacturer investment. Thst didnt happen and the team went crap. Instead now it seems HAAS doesnt care about finishing 15th and 16th with 2nd rate drivers, as long as sponsorship is paid to him by scum

      1. Thoughts on the January attacks?

        1. what are you getting at?

          1. Unless you know what happened at that day, this will never be told.

    10. My gut feeling is that Mazepin already has bought the team or has an agreement to buy the team. We saw that the F1 organisations income was more or less halved du to the corona lockdowns where F1 had to pay track owners for staging races instead of receiving the fee the organizers usually pay.
      This means half the income or even less for the teams this year and probably next year as well. This was the nail in the coffin for Williams and probably for Haas as well.

    11. Konstantinos
      6th March 2021, 14:51

      When I first saw the Haas car I thought, “wow, maybe a toothpaste sponsor?” which in retrospect is not a very intelligent thought. That being said, maybe they can get Colgate on board and have that as an excuse. The Russian connection can be the subliminal message of the livery.

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