Haas livery was designed before Russian flag ban was announced – Steiner

2021 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has denied its new livery was designed to circumvent restrictions on its driver Nikita Mazepin using the Russian flag.

Mazepin, along with other Russian athletes, is forbidden from using the Russian flag at sporting events this year following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last December on an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Haas presented its new livery for the 2021 F1 season today. The team has changed to a predominantly white, blue and red design with strong overtones of the Russian flag. Steiner denied this was a reaction to the WADA ruling.

“We didn’t circumvent anything,” he said. “We came up with this livery already last year before all this came out from WADA about the Russian flag.”

The WADA restrictions forbid Mazepin and other Russian athletes from displaying the Russian flag and related symbols on their sports equipment for two years.

Haas livery, 2021
Haas reveals Mazepin’s father’s company as new title sponsor for 2021
“Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag but you can use colours on the car,” said Steiner. “In the end it’s the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team, the team is an American team.”

Steiner confirmed the team had discussed the livery with the FIA, which is a signatory to WADA.

“We are always in contact with the FIA about things like this,” said Steiner in response to a question from RaceFans. “I don’t think they can approve it,” he added, “it’s WADA, it’s not an FIA rule.”

An FIA spokesperson told RaceFans “the team has clarified the livery with the FIA” and “the CAS decision does not prohibit the use of the colours of the Russian flag.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 66 comments on “Haas livery was designed before Russian flag ban was announced – Steiner”

    1. It is so over the top that it’s funny. It won’t harm Mazepin; it is not like he has a reputation to lose or whatever.

      1. I laughed when I saw it. It looks like Haas is trolling WADA. The design is certainly not subtle and has definitely got the team some publicity.

    2. Disusing…
      So the american F1 Team sold itself to a Russian oligarch… Ironic
      And found a way to jump to Russian flag ban with the car livery…
      It’s all too much…
      The guy tryed to buy Racing Point, failed, a now got Haas for just a few rubles…

      1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        5th March 2021, 10:42

        Haha, this is funny a Russian oligarch is a no-no but it was okay when they tried to latch on to a non-existent British energy drinks “millionaire”?

      2. This is disgusting, the only American team in F1 will use Russian flag livery on their car.

    3. I’m reminded of that Mitchell and Webb sketch. Haas need to ask themselves, “Are we the baddies?”.

      1. I read an article from The-Race yesterday about how AM should make sure not to become ‘the’ baddy in F1 while they gain ground. I think they have an easy distraction from that right here.

      2. Yeah but Guenther… It’s got skulls on it…

    4. Absolutely disgusting. A Russian flag livery on the only American team’s car would be humiliating enough in a normal season, but the fact that the use of the flag is banned and the team principal is saying “We didn’t circumvent anything”…. Farewell Haas, here’s hoping for a 10/10 season.

      1. And racist rusophobic ban isn’t disgusting?

        1. David Morgan
          6th March 2021, 17:45

          It is not racist is not rusophobic; it is punishment for consistently cheating!

        2. No it isn”t and well deserved.

    5. More controversy. I almost feel sorry for Steiner cause he’s just given all this stuff to deal with.

      1. To be honest he should just walk away. There’s no future at that team, sure he’s financially secure and could pursue something that might actually give some satisfaction.

        1. Why, he can expand his swearing by a new language with lots of F%$# words to learn.

          1. He can do the sequel to Nic Cage’s History of Swearing on Netflix.

    6. Sometimes I think Gunther has the toughest job in the sport. How much is his making i’m not sure, but whenever he speaks to the media I feel like he’s thinking ‘how am I going to ‘spin’ this one?’

        1. -Years of Kmag and Romain coming together at every opportunity
          -Rich Energy, and everything that comes with that and the money that doesn’t.
          -William Storey berating you on Twitter for ‘not beating Red Bull’ and claiming he fired you.
          -Gene losing interest, going to pull out
          -No money and going backwards down the grid
          -Now Romain is on fire
          -Had to fire both drivers, hire two rookies
          -One of them gropes a girl, drives crazy, scarcely avoids a ban and is universally disliked but it’s you who has to speak to the press
          -That drivers dad wants to paint the car in the Russian flag which may or may not be in breach of an international ban but you need the money.
          -Nikita is only ever ten minutes away from doing something and it’ll be your job to clean it up.

          Many others would have just walked out and posted the keys through the letter box by now.

          1. LOL, @bernasaurus! You can’t make this stuff up. But Gunther has to explain it. Hilarious.

          2. Ha! Love it. Perfect sum-up.

            All that work to fail in so many races. How many years has this aged him?

    7. Anglo’s are capable of making anything a controversial media story. In this case it is about a bunch of colours that resemble the flag of a nation they dislike. How many more articles until they find something new to screech about?

      1. And Russians will excuse anything another Russian does. This is clear from Mazepin’s ONLY support on Twitter.

        1. Barely anyone like him in Russia. He is just a rich kid using papa money for expensive playground. But banning national attributes isn’t about him and isn’t about any doping, that left completely unproven. It’s about hate and rusophobia. It’s about nation. It aims to hurt people first.

      2. An American team turning its car into a moving Russian flag IS a big deal!

        1. Was a big deal when Cold war rivalry was at its height.

          Since then Russia has gone through collapse and rebuild and America through moral and economic decline whilst globalists undermine the concept of national pride.

          So not really as big a deal as it used to be.

          1. ady (@sixwheeler)
            4th March 2021, 19:15

            Moral decline? Comparable to having a state-sponsored doping programme in sports?

            1. You are delusional if you think other nations doesn’t have anything similar, including GB. Just look how many medals GB won at the 2012 Olympics…way too many for a 64 million people country. They Simply wanted to hit Putin with this silly thing…

            2. The British and US have much more sophisticated state doping programs than Russia. This is just a political thing. I loathe Russia and Russians, but on this they are the same.

            3. Quite a strong allegation with no evidence at all from anywhere.

        2. Why? They had a President who was elected by Russian intervention and played the pet of Putin.
          This car is only small beer..

      3. It’s an unfortunate aspect of free media which you do not have in Russia.

      4. “Resemble” a flag? Every human with sight and knowledge of how the Russian flag looks can see that it’s a Russian flag livery car.
        There are at least 6 Russian flags on that car.
        Haas excuse that they’re an American team shouldn’t even hold up. It’s like a Russian athlete claiming that his clothes are Nike, not Russian while wearing a Russian flag on them.

        1. US is red, white and blue while this is white, blue and red. Nothing like an American flag.

    8. Steiner. “In the end it’s the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team, the team is an American team.”

      For the time being…

    9. I sense some contradiction in these two sentences: “[t]he WADA restrictions forbid Mazepin and other Russian athletes from displaying the Russian flag and related symbols on their sports equipment for two years.” and “Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag but you can use colours on the car.” So, the car is not an equipment for the driver to use? Good to know.

      Then again, how do you ban the use of colours that just happen to look like the flag?

      1. His sports equipment would be his helmet, gloves and suit and maybe the HANS device. The the car is owned bynthe team and isn’t his.

      2. ady (@sixwheeler)
        4th March 2021, 19:33

        Pretty much everyone who looks at the car thinks ‘Russian flag’. It might be hard to ban, but it does make Haas look like they are in favour of programmes of cheating in sports, which doesn’t sit well

    10. Just to rub salt into the wounds of anybody that still argues Haas is an ‘American team’, they’ve put the US flag the wrong way around.

      Look under the S in Haas…

      1. Omg lmao. What a joke of a team.

        1. Steiner can make fun of US, he is not American, but how could Gene Haas agree to this humiliation of his country?

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        4th March 2021, 17:37

        @sonnycrockett yeah, I noticed that. It seems to be on one side only.

      3. They’ve done that since they joined.

      4. Oskari Kantonen
        4th March 2021, 17:40

        It’s the correct way of displaying the flag on the right flank of a car that’s predominantly moving forwards. It’s mirrored on the left side. Imagine you had a flag pole fixed to the car and the car was moving, that’s what it represents.

        1. It is correct according to military regulations (670-1), but the US Flag Code says the union should be on the observer’s left. It’s not wrong since either way is right. :)

      5. Thanks for pointing me to the flag – I didn’t see it at first. As an American, I like seeing it and thought it was missing this season.

        On the right side of the car, it IS pointing in the correct direction. Heading into the wind, the stars will be nearest the flag pole, which in this case is the front of the car. The flag on the left side of the car should be opposite of the right side, and more of what we’re used to seeing.

    11. Haas are now Haaski…

    12. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      4th March 2021, 17:42

      Yeah, it’s really unconscionable to see this livery.

    13. What’s frustrating with this is they’re actually fairly close to a decent livery. But the insistence on the full Russian flag, rather than say, Russian flag themed, just ruins it. Look at the engine cover – what is that extra thin red strip at the top doing other than creating the white space for the Russian flag? It’s appalling.

      The front wing looks very A1GP too. Sad to see Mick Schumacher making his debut in this monstrosity.

      1. A1GP! That’s what I thought also :)

        A bit more than just “coincidence” the picture above, and the front wing picture have the e̲x̲a̲c̲t̲ same white-blue-red sequence as the Russian flag 🤔

    14. Personally I think Haas is a poorly managed team, Gunther has been leaving Haas for a long time, Gene is losing money, he needs a smarter team manager.

    15. Outrage over a livery? For real? Only thing better would be an image Trump and Putin kissing on the engine cover.

    16. Hillarious, I like it!

      American team, flying the Russian sponsors and flag.

      This is how it should be. Americans and Russians cooperating rather than fighting, and doing so to tease corrupt organisations such as WADA, IOC, etc.

      Now I still think Mazepin is a jerk, but the livery is great.

      1. ady (@sixwheeler)
        4th March 2021, 19:22

        Teasing corrupt organisations? The flag ban was a response to state-sponsored cheating in sports, which is pretty…corrupt

    17. I rooted hard for Haas to be successful when they first joined the grid. But every year like them less and dislike them more.

    18. Definitely not a fan of Russia’s political elite or its oligarchs. Nor much of a fan of what seems – from a distance – a hyper-aggressive, xenophobic and homophobic culture. Is that the mainstream reality or just what the west gets to see? No idea. But whatever, I don’t really see the point in sports banning national flags. Either people and teams compete from these countries or they don’t. If you want to ban all Russians from any global competitive sports because of the doping, do it, though it seems like overkill. But allowing them to compete but not identify just seems confused and ambiguous messaging. And more likely to provoke a reactive nationalism. Is it ironic that a US team is owned by Russians and wearing (or not) a Russian flag? Only if you missed the last 4 years of the previous US presidency. Same goes for the political incumbents of the UK/London.

    19. I’m sorry. But for me, this is completely brilliant. And in my opinion, it embraces the “spirit” of F1 very well. Do you limit the diffusers? We create the double diffuser. Do you ban my flag on the podium? We paint a whole car with it. Great.

      1. I think it is the right approach, you’re right. After all, some people are trying to be whiter that white (who knows for how long this phrase will be allowed) and the counteractions like these are keeping the things in balance.

      2. ady (@sixwheeler)
        5th March 2021, 6:34

        You ban performance enhancing drugs in athletics, we get our athletes to take performance enhancing drugs and meddle with the testing. That isn’t F1, and Looking like they support that is not a great look for Haas.

    20. Come back William John Storey, it’s all forgiven..

    21. it’s odd that the car livery in the Russian flag colours, Hass can’t say its because of title sponsor Ural Kali as they have a Red and Dark green Logo

    22. Martin Elliott
      9th March 2021, 10:52

      Since when have there been “National Teams” in F1.
      I remember a team gimmick in A1 GP.

      WADA may control (out of) the regulation of doping, but the imposition of penalties has generally been down to the Sporting Associations (badly).

      So yes, request the Associations to ban Russian Teams and their insignia, but have you checked how many Nations use White, Blue & Red – are they all banned? Worse, how do you define the order…..If not, bye, bye UK, France, etc

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