Haas hope for better in Bahrain after Barcelona woes

Jamie Woodhouse
Nikita Mazepin in the Uralkali-less Haas VF-22. Spain, February 2022.

Nikita Mazepin drives the Haas VF-22 without Uralkali sponsorship in Barcelona. Spain, February 2022.

The Barcelona group shakedown was a real struggle for Haas, so the team hope that the “gremlins” are gone for the Bahrain test.

Haas were one of the outfits to keep their true 2022 challenger under wraps during launch season, but once the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya test arrived, it was time for the covers to be removed.

But in a test which was largely about reliability for most teams, Haas struggled consistently in that department, the final day bringing only nine laps of running thanks to an oil system issue which Nikita Mazepin encountered in the morning session.

On day one Mazepin and Mick Schumacher managed only 43 laps between them.

Fortunately for Haas there are three further days of testing to come, the official pre-season test in Bahrain between March 10-12.

And it is there where team principal Guenther Steiner is holding out for some more consistent uninterrupted running.

Charles Leclerc followed by Nikita Mazepin. Spain, February 2022.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, is followed by Haas driver Nikita Mazepin. Spain, February 2022.

Speaking after the third and final day in Barcelona, Steiner said: “Today we could unfortunately only do nine laps. We had an issue with the oil system in the engine.

“There was a leak that we couldn’t sort over the day, so we didn’t do a lot of running.

“About the rest of the test, the first day was a little bit clumsy, I would say, but we learned enough that on the second day we were well prepared.

“The second day was actually pretty good, we learned a lot. If you think, we had three days of testing but really we only managed one.

“I think we made good progress. Now we have to get prepared for Bahrain. We have information, we know what to do and we will get it done.

“Hopefully, in Bahrain, we don’t have any gremlins.”

 

Haas also had a political headache to deal with in Barcelona due to their Uralkali sponsorship.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Haas made the decision to remove the Uralkali branding and Russian colours from their livery for the final day in Barcelona.

The future of Mazepin is also far from secure as Haas continue to monitor the situation.

 

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