Haas have announced their car is to run in a plain white livery for the final day of the pre-season track session in Barcelona.
That means the VF-22 will not display the colours or branding of the team’s title sponsor, Uralkali, the Russian company belonging to Haas driver Nikita Mazepin’s father, Dmitry.
The decision comes on the day when Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine to widespread condemnation.
Since the start of the 2021 Formula 1 season, the Haas cars have had a colour scheme based on the white, blue and red of the Russian national flag, with the front wing displaying the same sequential order.
“Haas F1 Team will present its VF-22 in a plain white livery, minus Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of track running at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday February 25,” said the team in a statement.
“Nikita Mazepin will drive as planned in the morning session with Mick Schumacher taking over in the afternoon.
“No further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements.”
— Tobi Grüner 🏁 (@tgruener) February 24, 2022
Along with ‘porpoising’ cars, the Russian Grand Prix was the talk of the track in Barcelona on Thursday as its future was put into serious doubt by the morning’s news that the invasion had begun.
Sochi was due to hold the race for the final time before the grand prix’s planned move to Igora Drive near St Petersburg from 2023, but both of those eventualities are now under serious threat as sanctions start to be imposed on Russia.
The removal of sporting events staged by continental or global governing bodies away from venues on Russian soil is an obvious consequence by way of response, and Formula 1 arranged a meeting with team bosses on Thursday evening to discuss the Sochi event scheduled for September 23-25.
Sebastian Vettel had already said he would boycott the Russian Grand Prix if it was not cancelled or transferred to a different country.
“In my personal opinion, obviously I woke up shocked after this morning’s news,” said the four-time former World Champion.
“I think it’s horrible to see what is happening. Obviously if you look at the calendar, we have a race scheduled in Russia.
“For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in that country.
“I’m sorry for the people, innocent people who are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons under a very strange and mad leadership.”