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Haas VF-21 to make "physical debut" at pre-season testing

Haas VF-21 to make "physical debut" at pre-season testing

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Haas VF-21 to make "physical debut" at pre-season testing

Haas VF-21 to make "physical debut" at pre-season testing

The Haas Formula 1 team has revealed the VF-21 will make its "physical debut" on the first day of pre-season testing.

On Thursday morning, Haas released imagery of its 2021 livery but rather than launch its new car at the same time, the team fitted the updated look onto last year's machinery.

Instead, the VF-21 will debut in Bahrain when the single three-day pre-season test begins on March 12.

Along with its new look, Haas has unveiled Russian potash fertiliser producer and exporter Uralkali as its new title sponsor. The company is run by Dmitry Mazepin, father of new Haas driver Nikita.

Dampening expectations for the season in which Haas will compete with two rookie drivers, with F2 champion Mick Schumacher alongside Mazepin, team principal Guenther Steiner reiterated the team is focused on 2022 and the radical new aerodynamic regulations.

"It’s going to be an exciting year ahead, hopefully exciting only in a good way though," said Steiner.

"We face a year of learning with the drivers while technically we look ahead to the future. It’s no secret that the VF-21 will not be developed as we focus our energies now on the 2022 car and, what we hope, will be a more level playing field.

"We all know roughly where we expect to be this season in terms of the competition, but we must ensure we’re there to capitalise on opportunities when they present themselves."

Haas finished ninth in the constructors' championship last year, ahead of only Williams, scoring just three points in what was comfortably the worst season in the team's short F1 history.

With no development work scheduled for the VF-21, it is possible Schumacher and Mazepin will face an even tougher challenge than that of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean last season.

Despite this, Steiner is excited to see how his two rookie drivers are able to develop across the year.

"First, we have to get the guys dialled in at testing," added Steiner.

"Time behind the wheel is short so it’ll be a steep curve, but I’m personally looking forward to seeing their development as drivers and as team members.”

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