Guenther Steiner has insisted Haas has not flouted any rules with its new livery that prominently displays the Russian flag.
On Thursday, the team unveiled a new design on its car that will be run on the VF-21 that will make its debut on the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on March 12.
In being sponsored by Uralkali, a company owned by Dmitry Mazepin, the father of new Haas rookie driver Nikita, the car sports swooshes of the Russian flag on the front wing, nose, cockpit sides and engine cover.
It was recently announced by the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] that Russian athletes - which includes drivers in all of the FIA's world championships - are prohibited from using national emblems, flags or symbols.
The FIA is a signatory to WADA, and the decision was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS].
Whilst Mazepin is a Russian athlete and will be sitting in a car clearly sporting the striped colours of the Russian flag, the VF-21 is run by an American team. A loophole would appear to have been exploited.
“We didn’t circumvent anything,” said Steiner when asked by GPFans Global about the matter. “We came up with this livery already last year before all this came out from WADA about the Russian flag.
“Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag, but you can use colours on a car. In the end, it’s the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team. The team is an American team.”
Asked whether Haas had been required to approach the FIA for approval for the livery, Steiner replied: “We are always in contact with the FIA about things like this. We worked it through with them."
As to whether the FIA specifically approved the livery, Steiner said: “I don’t think they can approve it. It’s WADA, it’s not an FIA rule.”
When contacted by GPFans Global for a response, an FIA spokesperson said: "The team has clarified the livery with the FIA. The CAS decision does not prohibit the use of the colours of the Russian flag.”
Wat vinden jullie?
Haas is American? They never had any intention of dismissing Mazepin after his terrible behavior with fellow drivers and young women. Oligarchs in a gentleperson's sport is vile. As an American I am embarrassed of Haas. Where are the Dan Gurneys of America now.
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