Mazepin to kick off Haas’ Barcelona running

Jamie Woodhouse
Nikita Mazepin, Haas, in the paddock. Brazil November 2021.

Nikita Mazepin will have the honour of starting Haas’ pre-season programme in the VF-22 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Haas were first to stage their launch event ahead of the 2022 season, although it turned out to be a livery and design launch with the true VF-22 not revealed.

The real car will hit the track in Barcelona, with the first group shakedown for all the teams taking place from February 23-25.

That will be followed by the official pre-season test in Bahrain from March 10-12.

So with only three days per driver to get to grips with their 2022 machinery, which has been designed to overhauled regulations, every lap on the track will be key.

For Haas, it will be Mazepin who heads onto the track first, taking the VF-22 around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the morning before handing over to team-mate Mick Schumacher.

For the following two days, that schedule will alternate, with Schumacher handling the Thursday AM session before handing over to Mazepin, then reverting back again for the third and final day.

The 2021 season was dismal for Haas, with Schumacher and Mazepin unable to score a point in the under-developed VF-21 in what was the rookie F1 season for both drivers.

This time around though, the ambitions are far higher for the American outfit with a return to fighting for points very much the goal.

Aston Martin, meanwhile, were forced to quash rumours they would not have their AMR22 ready for the Barcelona shakedown.

They put an end to that talk with authority by being the first to reveal their line-up.

Four-time former World Champion Sebastian Vettel will take to the track first in the AMR22 on Wednesday morning, with Lance Stroll then handling the afternoon session.

 

Like Haas, Aston Martin will then alternate that running order over the second and third testing days.

Aston Martin were another team not satisfied by their 2021 display, suffering from aerodynamic regulation changes as they dropped from contending at the front of the midfield in 2020 to P7 in the final 2021 Constructors’ standings.

 

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