The 2022 season hasn’t kicked off in the best way for Haas. The team, who was already quite vulnerable financially, decided to terminate the contract with title sponsor Uralkali following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February and is now facing logistical issues as well.
Formula 1 is in Bahrain for the second part of winter testing ahead of the first Grand Prix weekend on March 18-20 and teams have been getting everything ready for track since Monday. Each and every team, but not Haas.
The team’s freight was left stranded in the UK until Tuesday, as the plane who was supposed to transport it was held back in Istanbul. This morning the team has announced, with a tweet, that the equipment was finally delivered to the garage last night.
The team's freight arrived late last night to the circuit in Bahrain.— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 9, 2022
This delay will impact our programme but we are targeting being out on track for the second session Thursday afternoon with @PiFitti driving the VF-22.#HaasF1 pic.twitter.com/Zppbjbkn8a
The two-day delay, however, means that Haas will miss the opening session of pre-season testing around Bahrain International Circuit.
The VF-22 will be assembled and ready to take on track tomorrow afternoon for the second session of the day with Pietro Fittipaldi at the wheel.
The Brazilian is taking Nikita Mazepin’s place for this winter testing after the team officially cut ties with Russian last week.
Fittipaldi has been Haas’ reserve driver since 2019 and made his debut in Formula 1 in 2020, when he filled in Roman Grosjean’s seat for the last two races of the season in Sakhir and Abu Dhabi following the terrible crash in which the French driver was involved in Bahrain.